One man’s waste… Profit from tyres

When it comes to disposing of waste such as redundant tyres from the silage clamp, producers need concrete solutions.

Under new waste regulations that came into force on 15 May, producers can store waste tyres already on-farm under an exemption licence from the Environment Agency that must be applied for by 15 May 2007.

However, the stock of existing tyres must not be added to nor, indeed, disposed of by burying or burning on the premises, warn advisers.

Instead, it is expected producers will have to find new routes for the disposal.

It can be a costly business.

Waste collectors suggest tyre disposal costs typically range between £1-£1.50 per tyre (see Tyres & Wheels in Marketplace) depending on volume and collection/delivery to a licenced processor.

That’s comparable to specialist processors advertising on the internet whose main customers are tyre fitters rather than farmers.

But it is worth shopping around for the best deal.

Although tyres are waste, some industries are making good use of old items to literally fuel businesses into a greener 21st century.

For example, construction of new silage clamps, banking and other infrastructure can be underpinned using specialist rubber bales formed out of old tyres.

Costs are typically two-thirds the equivalent cost of tyre disposal on a weight-for-weight basis and there is an opportunity to work in collection of old tyres and delivery of bales to mediate costs, say suppliers.

One industry making good use of old tyres is the cement manufacturers.

Several new incinerators at plants across the Midlands have been used to help cut energy costs and demand on fossil fuels such as coal by burning used tyres.

Due to operating temperatures of typically 1450degC, all rubber and fabric material in the tyre compound is burned without the black smoke associated with open burning that some producers will recognise.

The cement industry is using this waste in a bid to meet a commitment to achieve a 10% improvement in energy efficiency under the Climate Change Levy Agreement by 2010, explain industry representatives.

But despite this route for disposal, it’s unlikely producers will be paid for releasing waste tyres.

Costs of collection, handling and processing/incineration facilities have to be countered, warn operators.

However, it does offer a different perspective as to what a producer may consider to be one business’ waste can also be another’s tool.