Finding a green way to turn around tyres


Last updated 10:52 27/03/2014
Kiwis do love to drive, but how to reduce, reuse and recycle the resulting 5.2 million worn out tyres each year is a problem that we haven’t yet fully resolved.

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Southlanders love their vehicles, and being able to drive wherever we like is one of the great pleasures in life. The freedom is wonderful but it does create a problem the country hasn't yet fully solved. That problem is how to best manage tyres that have reached the end of their life.

Almost 4 million passenger tyres, and some 1.2 million truck and other tyres, reach their end of life in New Zealand every year.

Some of these are responsibly recycled or disposed of in landfills, but many are not and it is these tyres that often cause problems by ending up in poorly managed piles or being illegally dumped. There is still no systematic approach to handling old tyres throughout New Zealand, but it is a hot topic being addressed by a project called "Tyrewise". The stakeholder group that's been working on Tyrewise recently recommended to government an approach to looking after tyres from the "cradle to the grave", so hopefully a workable solution is now in sight.

And there are already success stories for tyre reuse and recycling, such as Carbon Recovery Ltd in the Waikato. This company recycles all tyres, from bicycles to mining trucks, and they generally chip the tyres they collect to make new products, such as: Aggregate (metal replacement)

Horse arena surface

Drainage medium

Truck walls for silage stacks

Dairy stand-off and feed pads.

For more information on this topic, visit the Tyrewise website.

For more waste information, contact your local council or environment centre. To join Wastebusters, email

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- The Southland Times


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