Old tyres find new life

Old tyres will find new life as sports pitches, insulation and rubber flooring, thanks a £4m recycling facility, the first of its kind in Europe, which opened in Port Talbot, South Wales on 25 July.

The TyreGenics plant at Baglan will reprocess some four million used tyres each year into rubber ‘crumb’, making Wales a leader in automotive recycling initiatives. It will handle 80 tonnes of tyres a day and already has contracts in place to sell 70 per cent of production.

The ground breaking collaboration by several entrepreneurial businesses was backed by a Welsh European Funding Office grant and will create up to 30 new jobs.

The process uses liquid nitrogen to freeze shreds of tyre to below -80°C, at which point they become brittle, then mechanical ‘hammers’ smash the rubber into tiny pieces known as ‘crumb’ which can be reused.

TyreGenics is a joint venture between majority shareholder used tyre company Credential Environmental, BOC, Canadian artificial sports pitch business FieldTurf Tarkett and Canadian cryogenic plant manufacturer RTI Cryogenics.