95 per cent of European used tyres recycled
The ETRMA has reported its latest Used Tyre (UT) statistics that show Europe maintained a recovery rate of 95 per cent in 2011, despite an increase of 3 per cent in used tyres arisings compared to 2010. However it is worth pointing out that these figures do not include details for the UK market.
According to ETRMA, close to 3.3 million tonnes of used tyres (including 430,000 tonnes of UK arisings) were managed in an environmentally sound manner. After reuse or retreading, most of the remaining stream went into a variety of recycling, public works or civil engineering applications (material recovery) or was used as a fuel substitute in cement kilns, boilers and power plants (energy recovery).
As far as treatment routes are concerned, 2011 features an increase in material recovery (+0.5%) but a decrease in energy recovery (-2%). Granulation increased by 2 per cent and the reuse of end of life tyres (ELTs) for other purposes (fenders, blasting mats) by 47 per cent, there was also a downturn in the use of ELTs going to civil engineering and public works applications (-10%) and a reduction of the use of ELTs in steel mills and foundries (-33%).
In terms of volume, the production of rubber granulate and powder is the main material recovery route (83%), followed by civil engineering and public works applications (14%), dock fenders, blasting mats (3%) and steel mills and foundries (0.4%). When it comes to energy recovery, the main user of ELT shreds or whole tyres remains the cement industry (92% in volume), followed by urban heating, power plants and boilers (7%) and pyrolysis (1%).
The ETRMA stated that a detailed report of the UT recovery performance in Europe will be released during the fourth quarter of 2012.