New Roads From Old Tyres. Bring It On!

New Roads From Old Tyres. Bring It On!

Think of all the old tyres in Auckland, and then consider how many more of them there are around New Zealand and around the world. Millions of them! Tyres are the most replaced parts on any vehicle, and for the sake of safety, that has to be a good thing. Tyres don’t last forever and need to be replaced regularly.  But what happens to the old ones? As a South Auckland tyre shop, we obviously have a keen interest in their fate.

There are lots of uses for old tyres. They can be made into kids swings or used as raised garden beds, or even arranged to make a terrace garden. But what would really help reduce the number of old tyres around the world are projects that use them on a much larger scale. So imagine our interest levels when we read about the prospect of recycled tyres being used to make new roads.

It’s already happening in Hungary. A tyre recycling plant has been built in Zalaegerszeg, Hungary, with the site boasting a capacity of 20 000 tonnes per year, with full-scale production expected to start in early 2021. Every year, the new plant will use 3000 tonnes of crumb rubber made from tyres to produce rubber bitumen – this will lead to the recycling of about half a million tyres annually.

The recycled rubber bitumen is used to build asphalt roads which will have higher load capacity and reduced maintenance costs. Over 60 kilometres of rubber road have already been built or renewed in Hungary. As well as the environmental benefits, many practical advantages have already been observed, including:

  • Approximately 1.5 times longer lifecycle
  • Larger load capacity
  • Lower tear tendency
  • Excellent mineral adhesion reduces potholes
  • Lower maintenance costs.
  • Significantly less road noise
  • Improved traffic safety because of the reduced braking distance

It all points to a promising future for roads made from recycled tyres and it would be great if it could happen closer to home. A team of engineers from RMIT University in Australia are doing their own research into the topic; specifically, roads and footpaths made from a combination of tyres, as well as rubble from building and demolition sites. Wouldn’t it be great if tyre roads became commonplace here? They certainly seem to have many benefits that conventional roads don’t. And while we’re talking of old tyres; if yours need replacing we can set you up with new ones. Get in touch with our South Auckland tyre shop to make that happen. We’ll even share some ideas of how to recycle your old tyres beyond building miles and miles of roads!