Materials solutions company Tarmac has launched a new rubberised asphalt it says will recycle thousands of tonnes of wasted tyres in the UK.
Technical director Brian Kent said that, while the technique is widely used in the USA, his company is the first in Britain to develop the technology required.
“In the UK there is a lack of the necessary industrial infrastructure required to allow manufacture of this type of material. Against the backdrop of major investment in the strategic road network there is now an opportunity to leverage this technology and unlock the benefits of this circular economic approach.”
“While plastic recycling has attracted media headlines, used tyres remain a significant and overlooked waste stream and our new innovative rubber modified asphalts offer a more sustainable option for our industry and the environment.”
It is estimated that some 40 million waste tyres are produced in the UK annually, with 120,000 tonnes of rubber waste shipped abroad each year.
While plastic recycling has attracted media headlines, used tyres remain a significant and overlooked waste stream
Brian Kent, technical director, Tarmac
Tarmac claims its solution can recycle as much as 750 tonnes per kilometre of road surfaced.
Secretary general of the Tyre Recovery Association Peter Taylor said the country remained over-reliant on exporting used tyres to the likes of China, India and Pakistan. However all these countries are importing fewer tyres as they become more self-sufficient.
He added: “The UK needs a second disposal route for used tyres. Tarmac’s commitment to developing rubberised asphalt provides an excellent opportunity to achieve this and deliver environmental savings for this under-used waste stream.”