Three Perth men plan to reduce the amount of waste going to landfill.
Perth, Australia, Sees New Tyre Recycling Project
Michael Pennington and Mark Waller’s realised they wanted to do something about reducing the amount that went to landfill. Pennington said he realised that he wanted to create a more sustainable future for his children after hearing most tyres ended up in landfill. The duo partnered with Markus Raddatz, who came from a waste industry background, and set up a tyre recycling facility, 4M Waste in Malaga.
The company handles truck tyres collected locally, separates the steel from the rubber and crushes the rubber into a crumb that is fine enough for roads, playground surfaces and rubber ramps. “We recycle 100 per cent of the tyres,” Pennington said.
Pennington said after cutting the tyre walls, they stripped the rubber from the bead, extracting the steel to go to scrap metal recycling. “We strip the rest of the rubber off as well, so we don’t have to throw anything off,” he said. To reduce the moisture content, they stockpile rubber chips for about two weeks before crushing them.
Pennington said the crumb end-product met Main Roads specifications to use in roads, with less than 1 per cent moisture and less than 0.1 per cent steel content. "There’s a 3mm mesh – if the crumb is smaller than 3mm, it will fall through,” he said. “If it’s too big, it will just circulate until it gets crushed and falls through the mesh.”
He said machines and a conveyor belt system with magnets helped extract fibres and steel fragments from the rubber, with truck tyres made up with 60 per cent rubber, 35 per cent steel and 5 per cent fibre.
Pennington said they did not use passenger tyres because those contained more synthetic rubber, and Main Roads preferred the natural rubber found in truck tyres.
The longer-term plan was to develop the business and expand coverage with a second plant to process synthetic rubber. However, he said their goal was to expand the operation, which currently employed eight people, and set up a second system to process synthetic rubber.
Source: Perth Now