Where have all the Old Tyres Gone?

August 25, 2010 at 5:00 am 4 comments

Channel 7’s “This Day Tonight” program knows!

Their August 19th program tracked down container after container full of worn out tyres, shipped to Vietnam.

Asian countries don’t have the strict environmental controls that we have, and are hungry for cheap energy sources.

Such as worn out tyres, which burn very well in a furnace.

Pollution? What’s that? They are so hungry for energy, they don’t care.

This is where a proportion of the environmental levy ( $2 to $3) that you pay for the tyre dealer to dispose of your old tyres in an environmentally safe manner, goes.

Some goes direct to the dealer, some to the collector, some to the shipper and the internal transport system of the destination country. The trail has been so successful that it has put a number of rubber re-processing firms in Australia out of business. The auction columns have been full of processing plants for sale. These had large machines designed to cut the tyres up into smaller pieces. The tyres shipped overseas are uncut, but baled together to save shipping space.

Each tyre involves a lot of handling before it finally is consumed by the flames, so cheap labour is of real assistance.

The by-products of combustion include oxides of sulphur, oil by-products (soot and ash); and by-products from the many chemicals used in tyre making, some quite complex. Carbon black ( around 35% of a tyre) burns to give carbon dioxide, if there is enough oxygen.

A rich source of material for global warming, and contaminating the atmosphere. Far outweighed, however, by the smoke pall generated by forest clearing so that farmers can grow palm oil, which is very profitable.

Entry filed under: Blogroll, Environment, Tyre Industry, Tyre Technology. Tags: , , , .

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4 Comments Add your own

  • 1. David Matthews  |  September 8, 2010 at 11:17 am

    Further to the “This Day Tonight” investigation, a huge unauthorised tyre dump has been found on what used to be known as the “Hexham Swamp” in Newcastle, Australia. This was drained during the fifties, and for a while, became an airfield. Nowadays, access has been closed off because of the 3 kilometre long coal trains that traverse it.- one every 8 minutes. The flood gates have now been reopened to flood the area for its environmental benefits, which include the biggest mosquitoes (“Hexham Greys”) you’ll ever see, Fingerling fish love them- so it’s a fish breeding ground.
    “Dirty Jobs” on ABC2 found a similar cache in the Florida Everglades, so unauthorised dumping is a world-wide problem

  • 2. David  |  September 15, 2010 at 10:41 am

    Just outside Newcastle, Australia, there’s an area called the “Hexham Swamp”. It is famous locally for the size of the mosquitoes that breed there, laughingly called “Hexham Greys”.
    The swamp was drained early in the fifties, became an airfield, and is now traversed by the main train line ‘bringing coals to Newcastle”. Like 90 million tonnes a year- one train 3 km long every eight minutes. So no access, it’s being returned to a swamp, so that fish can breed there. They love mosquitoes. So under scrutiny from environmentalists trekking actoss the wasteland, quantities of dumped tyres have been found everywhere. “Dirty Jobs” on ABC2 found a huge cache hidden in the Florida Everglades. It’s a world wide problem!

  • 3. tyre serviss  |  October 7, 2010 at 9:11 am

    We have a pile of old tyres in back yard of our work shop! It is a problem, since we don’t know what to do with it… Any suggestions?

  • 4. David  |  October 9, 2010 at 10:24 am

    So has every other workshop, it appears.Suggestions could include:- Breed mosquitoes for fish food?
    Send them to Vietnam as “Fuel Aid.”
    Cut them up into little pieces so that they can be used as landfill.
    Throw them down an abandoned mineshaft.
    Make an artificial reef for a boat harbour.
    Resole your shoes; or make them into a fashion item shoe.
    Use them as buffers on your boat.

    Sorry- they’ve all been tried! Only another 11.999 million to go each year.


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