Tyre recycling facilities in Tasmania could turn oversupply into competitive industry

 

The stockpile at Longford contains more than a million tyres.

The stockpile at Longford contains more than a million tyres.

A long-term solution to Tasmania’s tyre waste problem is on the horizon, with a new facility preparing to shred thousands of tyres every year. The new tyre shredding facility proposed for the state’s south has been given approval by the Environment Protection Authority (EPA). The site at Brighton would use a shredder to process around 300,000 tyres a year.

Proponent Tyron Barwick said the shredded tyres would be shipped to a processor in Melbourne. “They can use the powder or the crumb to make into road surfacing, sporting fields, brake pads, and things like that,” he said.

A decision on council approval for the project is expected in weeks. The company, Barwick Landscape Supplies, has been given a $140,000 government grant from the so called “Cadbury money” to build concrete storage bins to safely store the tyres if the proposal is given the green light.

Mr Barwick said about 400,000 tyres were discarded in Tasmania every year. “Potentially we could take the whole tyre problem away,” he said.

But with other proponents also lining up to invest in tyre recycling it could be a case of the state moving from an oversupply to a shortage of old tyres.’There’s very little room for more than one tyre recycler’

Trevor Bayley from Green Distillation Technologies has plans to build a tyre processing plant at Longford in the state’s north, where there is a stockpile of about 1.3 million tyres.

Tasmania has had no tyre recycling facility, and they are often dumped

Tasmania has had no tyre recycling facility, and they are often dumped

He said the $8.5 million plant would transform old tyres. “The application of heat to tyres held in an air-free environment causes a chemical reaction which results in the production of a manufactured oil and leaves a residual of carbon and steel,” he said.

 

 

Old tyres at a tip in Hobart

The company is in the process of seeking environmental and council approvals and plans to start operating early next year. But Mr Bayley said tyre supply could be a problem given the announcement of another tyre processing proposal in the south. “There’s very little room in the Tasmanian market place for more than one tyre recycler,” he said.

The EPA is considering three proposals to process old tyres in Tasmania. “My role is merely to purely look at the environmental assessment. The companies will make their own determinations about the businesses viability,” EPA director Wes Ford said. He was pleased there was interest in processing Tasmania’s old tyres.

“If the tyres are not actually managed to an end of life state there’ll start to be a number of illegal stockpiles set up in Tasmania and they cause significant fire risk cause they’re not managed properly at all.”

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Article and images source: ABC News

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