The life of truck tyres can be effectively extended through retreading or recycled rubber can be reused, reprocessed or hand crafted into new products, resulting in less waste and less environmental degradation.
Each year in Australia, the equivalent of 48 million tyres reach the end of their life, only 16% of these are domestically recycled. Around two thirds of used tyres in Australia end up in landfill, are stockpiled, illegally dumped or have an unknown fate.
Truck tyres are suitable for retreading which enables the tyre to be reused a number of times and extend its usable life. Truck tyres can also be recycled. The benefits of using this recovered rubber include reduced cost, less energy in the total production process than equivalent processes used with virgin material, it conserves non-renewable petroleum products (used in the production of synthetic rubbers) and recycled rubber has some properties that are better than those in virgin rubber.
Waste tyres can be re-used and recycled in a variety of ways, from creating collision reduction barriers, as an alternate fuel source and in road construction as a constituent in asphalt roads. There are many companies in Australia that offer convenient tyre recycling services.
In recent years all governments have worked with the tyre industry to establish Tyre Stewardship Australia (TSA) and the voluntary industry funded tyre product stewardship scheme. This tyre scheme aims to increase both the number of tyres recycled in Australia and the use of products made with recycled material. Tyre industry participants who apply for, and gain TSA accreditation must commit to playing their part in sustainable end of life use for tyres.
Recycling: Tyres are a mixture of many different ingredients. Apart from rubber, tyres contain steel, fibre, carbon and oil. During recycling processes, tyres are shredded and crumbed so they can be used in the manufacture of soft fall surfaces, artificial turf, conveyer belts, brake pads and other rubber products. The TSA aims to not only increase domestic tyre recycling but to expand the market for tyre-derived products and support the development of new technologies such as Pyrolysis.
Retreading:the retreading of a truck tyre involves placing the old tyre in a buffing machine to remove the remains of the old tread, followed by the removal by hand of material missed through buffing. The tyre is then inspected to repair defects and the holes in the tyre are filled with rubber, a cement gum adhesive applied and then placed on a machine which will apply a new tread.
1. Hyder Consulting (2009) Waste and Recycling in Australia: Amended report. Hyder Consulting, Melbourne
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