End-of-waste status is “the way to go” for tyre recycling in Europe, according to Jean-Pierre Taverne of the European Tyre & Rubber Manufacturers’ Association. Addressing the BIR Tyres & Rubber Committee meeting in Paris on October 28, he said such a move would eliminate the negative connotations linked to “waste” while improving recycled material’s competitive position.
A significant step forward would be taken, delegates were told, if there was success with on-going attempts to achieve end-of-waste status for tyre casings suitable for retreading and for granulates, powder and chips obtained from the processing of the rubber fraction from tyres.
On the issue of producer responsibility, Mr Taverne also noted that many of the end-of-life tyre schemes in Europe were exceeding 100% when comparing performance with obligations - a reflection, he said, of the persistent problem of “free riders”. The situation required “intervention from EU member states” and strengthened enforcement. Already, he added, countries such as France and Italy were imposing penalties on “those who put tyres on the market but don’t want to play by the rules”.
After almost two decades as Chairman of the BIR Tyres & Rubber Committee, Barend Ten Bruggencate of VACO in the Netherlands stepped down at the Paris meeting. BIR World President Björn Grufman hailed him as a “great servant” both to the global recycling organisation and to tyre recycling.
His successor as Tyres & Rubber Committee Chairman, Ruud Burlet of Rubber Resources in the Netherlands, began his tenure with a presentation on his own company. Tracing its roots back to 1956 and an initiative by Dutch tyre producer Vredestein to use recycled material in its compounds, Rubber Resources became totally independent 13 years ago and, in 2015, is scheduled to start up its third production line using NTE, or New Technology Extrusion. Advantages of this technology include: scope for higher processing temperatures; quicker internal cooling leading to “better physical properties”; and flexibility in handling different polymer types.
According to Mr Burlet, the technology was also “scalable” in steps of 2500 tonnes and could be transferred to tyre recycling plant locations for faster growth and valorisation of know-how. “This fills a gap in Europe,” he told delegates.