Waste tyres are a problem that Bahia, Argentina, seems to have no solution for, with an estimated 150,000 tons of tyres arising each year in Argentina.
The impact of the waste tyres is due to several factors, among which are their composition since they contain 80% rubber, 15% steel and 5% textile fibre, and compounds that take thousands of years to degrade.
A report in La Nueva looked at the issue in some detail.
In Bahai, it is widespread to see a large number of abandoned tyres in vacant lots, which can contribute to the proliferation of rodents, insects, mosquitoes, and associated diseases.
Burning, another of the usual practices seen on the city’s outskirts, is also a big problem since the smoke is highly toxic and generates many greenhouse gases. That is why, experts say, they must be disposed of in a safe, responsible, and environmentally sustainable manner.
Beyond the fact that the municipality signed an agreement a little over a year ago with the company RENFU SAS for managing this type of waste, little has been done so far to prevent uncontrolled stockpiling.
“There is no fixed treatment schedule. There are temporary programmes that are carried out once a large number of tyres have been collected, but that is not the solution to this serious environmental problem,” said Maximiliano Rodríguez Intrevado, a technology consultant and one of the founders of QReciclas.
“I don’t know if there is any tyre treatment project in our city. In Argentina, there are regulations on the subject at the national level, but between that and compliance is another matter, ” said the biologist Martín Quevedo, Secretary of the Environment of Asura Bahía Blanca Regional.
“The incorrect management causes the alteration in the proportion of greenhouse gases, alteration of the biogeochemical cycles of the essential elements and increase of harmful effects on humans as well as on the biodiversity of the species”. Added Quevedo.
The solution is correctly managing the tyres, including collection and transportation, determining the final disposal site and, as the last step, identifying possible treatments and reuses.
The report reflected that Argentina has a range of localised regulations that result in varied treatment across the country.