Govt plans to burn millions of waste tyres every year

Govt plans to burn millions of waste tyres every year

The government plans to burn millions of tyres each year as a heat source to make cement, in a bid to deal with the “long-standing” problem of waste tyres.

An illegal tyre dump in Waikato

An illegal tyre dump in Waikato: The government estimates five million used tyres are thrown out each year. Photo: Supplied

People will also be barred from accumulating stockpiles of more than 2500 used car tyres without local authority consent, under the new plan.

The plan was announced today by Environment Minister Nick Smith at Golden Bay Cement near Whangarei.

“New Zealand has a long-standing problem, with five million waste tyres generated each year,” Dr Smith said.

The plan is to burn the tyres as a heat source to manufacture the cement, instead of using coal.

Dr Smith said burning the tyres instead of coal would reduce carbon emissions by 13,000 tonnes annually.

He told Nine to Noon the plan would also reduce piles of dumped tyres, which always proved to be a huge headache.

“As the tyres deteriorate, contaminants are picked up in the water and that makes its way into the aquifers, the rivers, the lakes. The second problem is the fire risk. You also get the problem of vermin and insects such as mosquitos. And then there are just straight aesthetics.”

To help this process, the government has provided a grant of $3.8 million to set up tyre collection facilities and $6.4m for tyre shredding facilities in Auckland and Christchurch.

Shredding is necessary, because the large bulk of used tyres would otherwise make their transportation too expensive.

The shredding machinery will be imported this year, and is planned to be operational in Auckland by the end of 2017 and in Christchurch in 2018.

The government is also making a grant to Golden Bay Cement of $13.6m, as part of the $18.1m cost of new equipment.

The new gear will burn 3.1 million shredded tyres per year, at high temperatures.

Dr Smith said Golden Bay Cement was New Zealand’s fifth largest emitter of greenhouse gases and the substitution of rubber biofuel for coal would reduce emissions by 13,000 tonnes annually, or the equivalent of 6000 cars.

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Published at Wed, 21 Jun 2017 22:40:58 +0000