Submitted by Admin on Mon, 02/27/2010 – 12:51
It is common cause that South Africa requires a plan to deal with its growing ‘tyre mountain’ problem, which is growing at a rate of about 200 000 t a year, or one-million waste tyres each month. This is aggravated by the fact that about 11-million used tyres, are dumped illegally yearly, or burnt to retrieve the steel wire inside, resulting in air pollution.
However, the country made something of a false start earlier in the year when it unveiled the Integrated Industry Waste Tyre Management Plan and the Recycling and Economic Development Initiative of South Africa (Redisa) plan, which subsequently had to be withdrawn, owing to procedural deficiencies.
Although the Redisa plan was approved by notice in the Government Gazette published on November 28, the Department of Environmental Affairs (DEA) came in for criticism and eventually agreed to withdraw the initiative.
But what will it take to make real progress in dealing with this serious waste problem?
On one point, at least, there is firm agreement: the need for State-backed support to galvanise waste management.
Redisa CEO Hermann Erdmann argues that formalisation of a waste tyre collection and recycling industry will require subsidisation, owing to the low intrinsic value of recyclable materials in tyres, even as a fuel source.
“The big problem is dealing with waste that has insufficient intrinsic value to be recycled economically. Scrap steel is not a problem – scrap tyres are, because there are no processes, currently, that can profitably recycle them, not even for use as fuel, without some form of subsidisation,” explains Erdmann. [more Engineering News]