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Why tire recycling?

Due to the increasing number of vehicles, the quantity of waste tires has been getting higher immensely. As estimated, in 2018 year almost 3,5 million tons of waste tires arose in the European Union. In Poland it is estimated to 250 thousand tons and the number is still growing. Only five European surpass Poland in terms of end-of-life tires arisings. Factors which cause the increase of demand for recycling services and recycling products include: the increase in the number of end-of-life tires and difficulties in their storage, the growing demand for ELT-derived materials, reinforcing regulations concerning waste management and state policy encouraging sustainable development and the concept of circular economy.

Among many different ways of disposing of waste tires, the most precious seems to be applying them in a granulated form (material recycling). The list of possible applications of ELT-derived materials is growing constantly. Rubber granulate is used as an ingredient of fields’ surfaces, running paths, protective layers, and for various types of noise barriers, or insulating and anti-slip mats. Shreds and chips are used for tunnel constructing, underground tracks, drainage layers and as fillers in construction. Rubber powder is used for the modification of asphalt mixtures, production of speed bumps, posts and traffic islands. In the rail industry granulate is used as an underlayer for railway and tram tracks. In automotive, rubber and chemical industries rubber powder is a valued material for the production of car carpets, mats and floor coverings.

The necessity of adjusting Polish standards to the EU regulations creates a very promisable situation for the Tire Recycling Plant functioning at Orzeł S.A. The demand for safety surfaces will increase along with the residential construction and the increasing wealth of the society. The regulations on implementation of safety surfaces force property developers to use rubber granulate-based products. There is a huge negligence in this field in Poland: schools, kindergartens and playgrounds built before year 2000 are thoroughly surrounded by concrete and they need to be rebuilt. It is expected that in the next few years rubber-modified asphalt will increase its share in the market of road construction. It is estimated that within the next 10 years the demand for services and products manufactured in the tire recycling process will be increasing by at least 10% each year.