REG UK Tyre & Automotive Recycling: Leave it to us
REG UK Tyre & Automotive Recycling is a subsidiary of Continental Tyres and the company name adequately explains the company’s mission.
In today’s tyre industry, the recycling of scrap tyres is a subject that has grown in importance over recent years and one which has exercised every sector of the industry. REG UK came into existence in 1997, with Conti’s John Campbell named as managing director – indeed, at that time, he was the sole employee. The concept, says John Campbell, came from the then-CEO of Continental AG, Dr. Hubertus von Grünberg. Von Grünberg recognised that Continental spent considerable sums on functions such as R&D and marketing and he believed that the company should complete the circle by offering dealers a route to dispose of their scrap tyres. The idea was tried out first in Germany, with the establishment of REG Deutschland in 1992, with REG UK following five years later.
Today, REG recycles around 40,000 tonnes of tyres annually and large volumes of tyres are being consumed in UK cement kilns, with REG being one of a number of suppliers into the cement industry (the exclusive arrangement with Blue Circle ceased at the end of the 90s). In hindsight, according to John Campbell, “This situation gave REG an opportunity to be more pro-active in its marketing and in looking for new and innovative recycling solutions.”
Not only does REG look round for recycling solutions, but it looks too for recycling opportunities. The company’s remit is not confined to any particular product area – if there is waste to be disposed of, then REG will look to see if it can become commercially involved. While the problem of tyre recycling, reprocessing and disposal is one that affects all manufacturers, there are few who have embraced it to the extent of Continental with the setting up of REG and any that wanted to move in on this market would find themselves playing catch-up. REG is already established and is profitable; living proof of the old adage that “where there’s muck, there’s brass”.