On May 18, Minister for the Environment Eugenie Sage and Auckland’s Mayor Phil Goff participated in the opening ceremony of a tire-recycling plant build at the premises of Waste Management’s facility in southern part of Auckland, New Zealand.

The newly transformed facility is expected to tackle burning problem of the nation – scrap tires stockpiling.

Waste Management was granted $3.85 million by the Ministry for the Environment’s waste minimisation fund. The funds will be used for purchase of advanced systems and technology produced in the U.S.; these modernizations will allow the plant to recycle up to 250% more of its initial capacity.

Approximately 30,000 tons, or 3 million of car tires, are planned to be recycled into tire-derived fuel each year at the facility in McLaughlins Rd, Wiri, which is the biggest tire recycling plant in Auckland.

According to Waste Management managing director Tom Nickels, it was a pleasure to have Sage attending the launch of the plant and celebrating a new promising stage for tire recycling, as this plant is expected to become a crucial measure to deal with an escalating ecological issue.

Managing director of Waste Management Tom Nickels, Associate Minister for the Environment Eugenie Sage, and mayor of Auckland Phil Goff. Photo: Stuff

According to Sage, the tires are distributed to the new plant and transformed into valuable products instead of being dumped at landfills.

Nickels added that his company acknowledged that it can make waste streams more valuable by being able to transform waste into tire-derived fuel, as this product is often use as fuel for cement kilns.

The Green Party has previously signed an agreement with the authorities, where it promised to greatly reduce the number of tires stored at landfills by 2020. Thus, this goal is now of high importance, Sage explained.

Preferring circular economy’s standards of recycling and reusing to other options should become New Zealand’s ambition.

Until 2020, an approximate annual capacity of the new plant will be 15,000 scrap tires, however later the plant will be able to recycle 30,000 tons of feedstock per year.

Every year, New Zealand generates 60,000 tons of scrap tires from more than 4 million vehicles.

Article by Stuff