Two new documents released this month by WRAP (Waste & Resources Action Programme) are setting new standards in the tyre recycling industry.
With over 46 million used tyres generated annually in the UK, the market for developing end uses for tyres is growing fast and these documents aim to set a quality standard for both the manufacturers and end-users of used tyre material.
The two Publicly Available Specifications (PAS) documents were created in conjunction with the British Standards Institute (BSI). They provide clear guidance to the measures and procedures needed to produce recycled material such as shred, crumb, powder and tyre bales, to a consistent grade and quality.
The PAS documents set out a voluntary specification and will give manufacturers the ability to publicise that their materials are of a high standard, meeting the voluntary guidance criteria. Most importantly, the PAS will provide their customers with the confidence that the materials they are receiving are produced responsibly, in line with an approved procedure. In an industry historically lacking guidelines, the documents promise to be a useful resource. Jacks Guinness, Marketing Project Manager for Tyres at WRAP comments:
“The two PAS documents come under the description of PAS 107, referring to the manufacture and storage of size-reduced tyre derived rubber materials, and PAS 108, which refers to the production of tyre bales for use in construction. The documents outline the key uses for end of life tyres which, with over 100,000 tyres being taken off cars, vans and trucks every day, are in plentiful supply. The used tyre material provides a unique opportunity to many markets, and these documents will give the reprocessing industry a benchmark to set their standards to.
“PAS 107 and 108 were created following a thorough and detailed consultation of the tyre industry. We worked closely with a wide range of experts from the industry to ensure that the standards being set were measurable, realistic, specific and gave the highest quality standard reachable.”
The PAS 107 document outlines specifications for the material source, initial storage, production and specific dimensions and properties of tyre derived rubber materials. This includes the need for source materials to come from end of life tyres that have been removed from road vehicles and off road vehicles such as agricultural and earthmoving equipment.
Tyre shred or crumb has a wide range of uses in civil engineering and industrial products and can be used as an aggregate replacement, as well as for safety areas in play parks, horticultural applications, and as a surface for equestrian menages and pathways. The new specifications will allow manufacturers to categorise the different forms of material, promoting their individual properties and quality, which reach quality standards comparable to their primary material equivalent.
Likewise, the PAS 108 document clearly outlines guidelines for the specific density, porosity and dimensions of the tyre bales. These specified engineering properties will help to further establish the use of tyre bales in a range of engineering and construction applications, such as road foundations, embankment fill, slope stabilisation and drainage systems.
Tyre bales have excellent properties and these standards will allow manufactures to demonstrate their consistent quality to end users and give customers confidence in the material.
The PAS 107 and 108 documents are available free of charge by contacting the WRAP helpline, or requesting the documents via the standards & specifications page on the WRAP tyres web pages www.wrap.org.uk/construction/tyres. Shorter six page summaries of both documents are also available in hard copy as well as a PDF download.