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It is estimated that in 1999, there were 32,000 tonnes of waste tyres. Approximately 45% (14,400 tonnes) of this waste sent to landfill sites.

Of the 263 landfill sites in Scotland there are around 9 that accept tyres at present. Under the EC Landfill Directive, as of 2003, whole tyres can no longer be landfilled, and by 2006, we will no longer be allowed to landfill shredded tyres.

Tyres can be reused part-worn, or retreaded. Historically, retreaded tyres have been perceived as less safe than new tyres. However, under the UK Motor Vehicles (Safety) Regulations 1994, retreads must be marked in accordance with British Standard BS AU 144e.

Used tyres can be put to various engineering uses or shredded / granulated to make new products.

Energy can also be recovered from used tyres. However, according to Tyre Waste and Resource Management: A Mass Balance Approach - Hird et al (unpublished), it the reuse and recycling of tyres is a more efficient use of resources than energy recovery. Furthermore, there are now many novel technologies for the recycling of tyres.

back to National Waste Strategy


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