Recycled Tyres: Fuel Of The Future

We’re well aware how many tyres in NZ reach the end of their lives every year. The team at Drury Tyres are in the business of selling and fitting new tyres to replace those old ones, but we do care about the environment and we are mindful of what happens to discarded tyres. In New Zealand, we generate some 4.2 million tyres every year and with end-of-life tyres being non compostable, this is a significant environmental issue.

This is why we’re pleased to see major initiatives being taken to recycle tyres. For example, the tyre recycling facility at Wiri in South Auckland now takes 30,000 tonnes per annum, or three million car tyres. The processing facility shreds the tyres into small pieces and this material is then exported as tyre derived fuel (TDF), which reduces waste stockpiling and turns a discarded resource into energy.

Industries in North America, Europe, the UK and North Asia have been using tyre derived fuel for more than 30 years. TDF is used in high heat operations like cement kilns, power generation and steel manufacturing, and it works just as well, if not better, than most fossil fuels. Tyres produce the same amount of energy as oil and 25% more energy than coal, with the ash residues often containing a lower heavy metals content than some coals. Plus, there are less nitrogen oxide gases emitted when compared to many types of coal, particularly the high-sulphur coals.

The tyre recycling facility at Wiri is a fantastic idea, but we can all play our part by giving ole tyres new life. In the past, we’ve heard of tyres being used in these ways:

  • Creating raised beds for flowers and greenery.
  • Repurposed into outdoor sculptures or stacked for practical storage space for longer garden tools e.g. garden forks, shovels or rakes.
  • Stacked and used as a compost bin.
  • Used to make outdoor play structures for kits to enjoy..
  • Cut in half and painted up to build borders along flower beds and walking paths.
  • Painted in bright colours and combined with a wooden board to hang from outdoor roofing or indoor roofs for effective hanging shelves, or for hanging plants.
  • Larger tyres, such as tractor tyres, can be filled with sand to become a sandpit for the kids.

If you have ideas for using old tyres, get in touch and tell us all about it. Like you, we’re keen to see old tyres take on a new lease of life. As far as our planet is concerned, it’s the right thing to do, so any idea you have is a good one.