What happens to used tyres in SA?
Phuti Mpyane investigates what is being done to deal in an environmentally friendly way with millions of waste tyres
In SA, it is estimated that 11-million waste tyres are lying in dumps, as stockpiles or simply scattered across residential, industrial and rural areas. Thousands of tons more are added to that dangerous level every year. Where do used tyres go? The answer to this question depends largely on who you are and the intended usage. For individuals who use the services of tyre-repair centres, they are left behind and a collection system swallows them up. Some end up as dirty piles in the backyard or garage. Some used tyres are stacked on the sides of roads to be sold in the informal market, ending up on vehicles and raising alarming worries about road safety. It is estimated that only 10% of overall waste generated in SA is recycled, of which 2% is processed in waste-to-energy programmes. The remainder ends up in landfill sites. The risks to the environment are innumerable. Waste tyres are harmful to people and the environment because of acid smoke produced in tyre fires and an oily resid...