Ray Pantling, owner of Tyres Direct in Bletchley, explains what happens to the 50 million waste tyres in the UK each year…
There are around 50 million waste tyres in the UK each year – but what happens to them?
Let me explain… At the end of their life, tyres are loaded onto articulated lorries and transported to be disposed of.
An average, 1,300 loose tyres can be loaded onto an artic trailer for transportation, which equates to almost 38,500 articulated lorries used on UK roads to transfer them all to be disposed of.
Imagine that line of traffic – it would stretch bumper to bumper from London to Glasgow, which is virtually 400 miles.
According to the UK Retread Manufactures Association, 52% of scrap tyres are burned for fuel, 12% are used in crumb rubber products, 16% are used for civil engineering applications and 14% are ground and dumped in landfills.
As a nation, we have become better at the environmental disposal of waste tyres, and many are properly recycled to offer an alternative fuel source for the cement industry.
Waste tyres can also be shredded to become tyre granulate for flooring for playgrounds, sport surfaces, artificial turf, matting for horse boxes.
And the steel wire inside the tyre is often used to make lobster cages for fisherman to use as catching devices!