From July, new European environmental legislation will see shredded tyres banned from UK landfill sites. The disposal of whole tyres was banned in 2003. The new regulation means all tyres will need to be reprocessed or recycled – and the additional costs are likely to be passed on to fleets.
The current cost of disposal is £1 to £1.50 per tyre, but this is expected to rise steadily as more tyre collectors move away from landfill options to recycling.
Among the possible solutions is a process that transforms tyres into chips to be used in cement. One of the pioneers of this technology is Sapphire Energy, formed by Lafarge Cement UK and Michelin Tyres. It has plants in London, Bristol, Birmingham, Manchester and Edinburgh.
Ryan Mifflin, head of sales and marketing, at Sapphire Energy, said: ‘Because tyres are designed to be indestructible, recycling old tyres can be difficult and expensive.’