Trailer Magazine

Waste tyre challenge

  • From the June 2018 issue.
Waste tyre challenge

To address the massive number of waste tyres ending up in landfill each year, industry cooperative, Tyre Stewardship Australia, continues to look at innovative ways to reuse and recycle tyre material.

Waste tyres refers to those which have reached the end of their life and can no longer be used on vehicles due to damage or wear.

According to the Tyre Stewarship Australia (TSA), the waste tyre challenge that faces Australia each year is 56 million equivalent passenger units*. Of that, more than 30 per cent come from heavy vehicle, trailer, construction and mining tyres.

The TSA is a State and Federal Government approved organisation that aims to increase the number of waste tyres that are managed sustainably. This is being done by running a waste tyre management accreditation scheme and by finding new uses for the recycled tyre material.

One of the new innovative ways that old tyres are receiving a new lease of life is by being recycled and used as urban paving, which helps to provide water to nearby trees.

Rubber crumb spray-seals and asphalt mixes for roads deliver major durability and drainage benefits and those products are being increasingly used on Australian roads through the TSA, backed by industry support.

The TSA has also been assisting with the development of permeable pavements that can contribute to more efficient urban water management.

Through a TSA-funded research project, the University of Melbourne and Tasmanian-based Merlin Site Services, have been working together to learn more about the use of recycled tyre-derived material in the creation of urban paving that allows water to run through it, providing moisture for nearby trees, reducing surface runoff, decreasing the risk of flash flooding and preventing run-off pollution to nearby water bodies.

This project involves investigating the suitability of using up to 60 per cent waste tyre products as the rubber granules in permeable pavement applications. As part of the project, a variety of laboratory testing and field studies have been undertaken, including a pilot installation program.

“The objective of this research is to provide local government with greater confidence to increase the use of tyre-derived products as part of their water management planning,” says TSA Market Development Manager,
Liam O’Keefe.

With the work being done by the TSA, soon trucks and trailers may not only be driving along roads containing rubber crumb, but also driving past pedestrian paths and carparks that are helping to play a role in addressing both the waste tyre challenge and that of managing one of our most valuable resources – water.

* Volume based on Equivalent Passenger Units. An EPU is a standard passenger car tyre. Full EPU ratio table available at

Fast Fact
TSA is a not-for-profit product stewardship scheme for tyres, which has committed $3 million in R&D funding to increase the use of tyre-derived product in Australia. The Tyre Product Stewardship Scheme is free to join. There are currently over 1400 TSA accredited retailers on board.

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