Recycling of Rubber
One form of thermal recovery is pyrolysis. This involves heating the tyre waste in the absence
of oxygen which causes decomposition into gases and constituent parts. It is a technology
which is still immature in the tyre-reprocessing field.
Tyres consist of around 60% hydrocarbons, which is a store of energy that can be recovered
by incineration. The heat produced can be used directly in processes such as cement making,
or to raise steam for a variety of uses, including electricity generation. Again, this technology
requires sophisticated plant and its application is limited when looking at small-scale
Landfill is the final step in the waste management hierarchy. The landfill disposal of tyres, if
properly managed, does not constitute an environmental problem. However, concerns about
conserving resources and energy have seen an increasing opposition to landfilling. Also,
public sanitation and municipal waste management is often ineffective in developing
countries and scrap tyres are often found littering the streets.
References and further reading
Ahmed, R., Klundert, Arnold van de, Lardinois, I., Rubber Waste, Options for Small-
scale Resource Recovery, TOOL Publications and WASTE, 1996. A book aimed at
small-scale rubber recyclers in developing countries.
Vogler, Jon, Work from Waste, Practical Action Publishing, 1981. A classic for those
wishing to recycle waste and create employment.
Baarle, B. van, Het hervewerken van Rubberafval van Personenevagenbanden (Reuse
of Rubber from Passenger Vehicles), NOVEM / RIVM, The Netherlands 1988.
"Rubber," Microsoft® Encarta® 98 Encyclopedia. © 1993-1997 Microsoft
Corporation. All rights reserved.
Scrap Tire and Rubber Recycling Terminology Booklet developed by the ITRA Tire
and Rubber Recycling Advisory Council (TRRAC) (See address in following section). It
is a valuable resource to understanding the tire industry and tire recycling issues.
Porteous, Andrew, Recycling Resources Refuse, Longman 1977.
Practical Action Technical Briefs Waste Management
International Tire and Rubber Association (ITRA) Home Page. A wealth of information on
recycling of tyres and associated topics.
Web site of RAPRA (see previous section).
US Rubber Inc. A commercial Website with an interesting range of products from recycled