End of Life Tyres: A Valuable Resource with Growing Potential

Content:

End
of life
tyres

© signus

© etrma

© ru
bber
reso
urce
s

©

al
iap
ur

A valuable resource with growing potential
2011 edition

End of life tyres –

A valuable resource with growing potential – 2011 edition

1

Content
I. ELT recovery in Europe
i.
Worldwide ELT arisings and recovery trends
ii. 2010 National used tyres arisings and recovery rates
iii. Evolution of recovery routes since 1996

II. ELT Management systems in Europe
i.
Producer responsibility
ii. Tax system
iii. Free market system

III. A host of end markets for ELTs
i.
Almost an infinite number of potential applications
ii. Material Recovery
iii. Energy recovery

IV. Towards end of waste status for ELT derived products
i.
ii.

Characterization of ELT derived products though standards
Better knowledge of environmental and health impacts
of ELT recovery routes

V. Conclusions
Annexes
I.
II.
III.
IV.

Used Tyres recovery in Europe (EU27, NO+CH) in 2010
European legislation impacting tyre recycling
International bodies recommendations on tyre recycling
National ELT management companies

End of life tyres –

A valuable resource with growing potential – 2011 edition

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This ETRMA report presents the situation of end of life tyres (ELTs) in Europe for 2010 and sets out to
demonstrate the progress that has been made over the last decade by the European tyre manufacturers to address, in a responsible manner, the challenges posed by the end of life tyres, which include:
> No landfill option as from 16 July 2006;
> Guaranteeing an ecological treatment of the entire chain;
> Promoting efficient and sustainable economical solutions.

>>

I. ELT recovery in Europe
i. Worldwide ELT arisings and recovery trends

1. IRSG, “The
World Rubber
Industry Review
and Prospects
to 2020”,
December 2010

The global tyre output is estimated at 1.5 bn
units1 and subsequently just as many will fall
into the category of end-of-life tyres.

Historical recovery rates estimates for ELTs
ELT Recovery Rate

100%

Over the last 17 years recovery rates for ELT
have dramatically increased in Europe, Japan and the US. At the same time, the cost
of recycling to the consumer has decreased
due to both increased efficiency in management structures and new recovery routes.
This shift shows that ELT-derived products
can legitimately be recognized as a valuable
secondary raw material or an alternative fuel.
In 2010 the enlarged Europe was faced with
the challenge of managing, in an environmentally sound manner, about 3.3 million tonnes
of used tyres (including tyres for retreading
and reuse/export), the same quantity as in
2008 and up 2.2% compared to 2009.

90%
80%
70%
60%
50%
40%
Japan adjusted to remove exports and retreads

30%

Europe adjusted to remove retreads and exports

20%

USA (old methodology) adjusted to remove exports
and second-hand tyres

10%

USA (new methodology) adjusted to remove exports
and second-hand tyres

0%

1994 1995 1996 1997 1998 1999 2000 2001 2002 2003 2004 2005 2006 2007 2008 2009 2010

Sources: ETRMA, JATMA & RMA figures, adjusted to calculate harmonised ELT recovery rates

EU Evolution of ELT recovery over the last 17 years
kt
3.000

2.563
2.413 2.472 2.496

2.500
1.863 2.006

2.000
1.500
968

1.000
500

1.098

1.378

2.128

1.536

503

0
1994 … 2000

2001

2002

2003

2004 2005

2006

2007

2008

2009

2010

End of life tyres –

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After sorting, an estimated 2.7 million tonnes of ELTs remained on the EU market for recovery and recycling. This represents
a five-fold increase of the recovered quantities over the last 17 years.
In Europe, the estimated annual cost for the management of ELTs is estimated at € 600 million.
In addition, the EU has millions of used tyres that have been
illegally dumped or stockpiled. The inadequate disposal of
tyres may, in some cases, pose a potential threat to human
health (fire risk, haven for rodents or other pests such as
mosquitoes….) and increase environmental risks. The current estimate for these historic stockpiles throughout the
enlarged EU stands at 5.7 million tonnes (1.73 times the
2010 annual used tyres arising).
Ultimately, the improved economic performance of the end
of life tyre business should mitigate in favour of an earlier
and more effective approach to tackling historic stockpiles.

Arising: 3.3 Mt (2010)
kt/y




0-50
50-200
200-350
350-500
> 500

41

79
51
10
10

38

35

11
465

The annual estimate for used tyres from end of life vehicles
(ELV) amounts to 327,000 tonnes which represents around
10% of the annual used tyres arising.

65
82

239

614
57

381

50

92

30

11

426

ii. National UT arisings and recovery
rates

23

60

33

292

20
49

Not surprisingly the largest volumes of used tyres arising
are in the biggest countries (Germany, UK, France, Italy,

10 years ago
-50% recovery in 1999

1

8

Today
96% recovery in 2010
› 90% collected
100%
88%

?
?

45
?
62
100%
85%

?

94%

100%

‹ 70% or unknown

?

?

100%

From 70 to 90%

100%
90%
91%

82%
98%
100%
106%

?

?
41%

?

70%
?

103%

12%

100%

?

7%
?

?
?

?

100%

100%

100%

100%

?
?

?

100%

100%

?
23%

90%

100%

105%

79%

96%
?

?

100%
?

?

0%

90%

100%

0%

P.S.: UT treatment > 100% : the quantity of Used Tyres treated can exceed the arising in some countries where Producer
Responsibility is in place, because ELT management organizations may have collected more than their obligation

End of life tyres –

A valuable resource with growing potential – 2011 edition

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2. CEPI (Confederation of
European paper industries)
Sustainability Report 2011,
Recycling rate (Recovered
paper utilisation +
Recovered paper net trade).
3. PlasticsEurope “Plastics – The facts 2011”
– An analysis of EU Plastics
Production, demand and
recovery for 2010.

Spain and Poland) with a range between 250 and 600,000 tonnes per annum. All other countries have
arising under 100,000 tonnes per annum and 6 countries have 15,000 tonnes or less.
In 2010, 23 of the EU27 countries (plus Norway & Switzerland) recovered 90% and more of their annual used tyre arising. 18 of those 23 countries recovered 100% while Italy and the Czech Republic are
between 70% and 90%. Only Bulgaria and Cyprus are still depending on landfilling.
Countries where a producer responsibility system has been operating for over 10 years. (e.g. Nordic
countries) have recovery rates of 100% and stockpiles have been eliminated.
Despite the heterogeneous nature of these rates, in 2010 the EU27 (+Norway and Switzerland) had an
average used tyre recovery rate of 96% which is remarkable when compared with the recovery rate of
other sectors: 69 % for paper2 and 58% for plastics3 in 2010.

iii. Evolution of recovery routes since 1996

0
20
40
60
80
100

Since 1996, more than 24 million tonnes of ELTs have been recovered either through energy or material
recovery. This has led to a considerable decline in landfilling over time; a phenomenon which has been
accelerated since 2000 further to the implementation of the Landfill Directive and due to the proactive
industry initiative of establishing national Producer Responsibility schemes. As a result, only 4% of
the used tyres arisings are tipped today in landfills or have unknown recovery routes while recycling,
recovery, reuse and retreading now contribute to a substantial 96% of used tyres recovery.

100%
80%

4%
49%

38%

20%

40%

60%
40%

11%
20%
0%

12%

8%
10%

18%
1996
Landfill

1998

2000

Energy recovery

2002

2004

Material recycling

2006

2008

Retreading

2009

2010

Reuse/export

In the last decade, tyre industry, dealers and ELT operators have substantially improved ELT utilization.
Europe has built up a real experience of 3 types of ELT management schemes, i.e. Tax model, although
very limited, Free market model and Producer responsibility model. The rapid improvement of the performance of the ELT management has been reached through a sustained deployment of the Producer
responsibility model.

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A valuable resource with growing potential – 2011 edition

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In 2010, about 3.3 million tonnes of used tyres were managed in an environmentally sound manner.
This represents 2% increase in arisings compared to 2009. After sorting out the data of those tyres
going for reuse or retreading, an estimated 2.7 million tonnes of end-of-life tyres (ELTs) were left to be
treated.

Reuse
130 kT

ELT Management
in Europe in 2010

Export
186 kT
Part-Worn Tyres

Retreading
258 kT

ELT management
UT arisings
3,273 kT

Material Recycling
1,073 kT
Material Recovery
1,315 kT

Civil Engineering and
Public Works
242 kT

Cement kilns
1,147 kT

End-of-Life Tyres
Arisings

Energy Recovery
1,248 kT

Others
101 kT

Landfill & unknown
(estimated)
157 kT

This material flow went into a variety of recycling applications, public works and civil engineering or
was used as a fuel substitute in cement kilns, boilers and power plants.
An interesting observation in 2010 is the shift in trend, i.e. growth in material recovery (+10%) and a
reduction in energy recovery (-3%). In numbers, this means that 1.3 million tonnes of ELTs went to material recovery and 1.2 million tonnes in energy recovery. As compared to UT arisings, material recovery
is now the main recovery route (40%) followed by energy recovery (38%).
Within material recovery, recycling of ELTs as tyre rubber granulate and powder in various applications is the main recovery route (80%), followed by the use of ELTs in civil engineering applications
and public works (18%), as dock fenders, blasting mats (<2%) and as a reducing agent in steel mills
and foundries (>
4 EC Directive 1999/31
on the landfill of waste
of 26 April 1999, which
bans whole tyres from
landfill from July 2003
and shredded tyres
from July 2006

II. ELT Management Systems in Europe
What are the issues facing the tyre industry in the realm of end of life tyres?
EU Member States have to be in compliance with the EU legislation in transposing the Directives into
local legislation. They are free to set national initiatives to reach the EU targets. In regard to the development of waste management policies at national level, the landfill of waste Directive4 has been a
major driver for setting ELT management systems in Europe.
Tyre manufacturers are also facing growing environmental pressure from the general public and other
stakeholders concerning illegal dumping and historic stockpiles.
For all these reasons it is in the interests of the tyre industry to continue being proactive and take responsibility collectively for end of life tyres.
Today within the EU there are three different systems for managing end of life tyres:
> Producer responsibility
> Tax system
> Free market system 
Some countries are currently in the process of moving from one system to another one or have recently
moved to a Producer Responsibility scheme.

Country specific implementation
and ELT management companies
Liberal system (Free Market)
Government responsibility
financed through a tax
1995

Producer
Responsibility (PR)
1995
1995

2006

2003
2002

2004
2004
2010
2002

Hungary:
The regulatory framework has
changed in Hungary : from
January 2012, tyre manufacturers
will individually organise the
fulfilment of their producer
responsibility. Hence HUREC
does not take on anymore in
a collective way the operational
fulfilment of the ELT producer
responsibility.

2006*

2005

2011
2006

2006

under discussion

2006

End of life tyres –

A valuable resource with growing potential – 2011 edition

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In Italy, Ecopneus, an ELT management organization, has started operating from September 7th 2011 as
a collective PR scheme, replacing the previous Italian free market system. In terms of UT arisings, the
Italian market is the third most important one in Europe behind Germany and the UK.
In the Czech Republic, the Association of producers and importers of tyres in the Czech Republic has
been created in 2011 and will set up a collective Producer Responsibility Scheme, which might be starting its operations in 2013.

i. Producer responsibility
The law defines the legal framework and assigns the responsibility to the producers (tyre manufacturers and importers) to organise the management chain of end of life tyres.
This led to the setting-up of a not-for-profit company financed by tyre producers aiming at managing collection and recovery of end of life tyres through the most economical solutions. A reporting obligation
towards the national authorities provides a good example of clear and reliable traceability. In addition,
these companies are able to develop high-level knowledge on technologies and build up additional R&D
capacities. The annual investment in R&D is around € 5 million. For the end user, this system guarantees
transparency of costs through a visible contribution, clearly indicated on the invoices.The members of
these companies usually include the national manufacturers and the main importers. For example in
Portugal, Continental is the national tyre manufacturer and all other companies are importers.

Producer responsibility scheme
USER

DISTRIBUTION

COLLECTION
SORTING

TRANSFORMATION

RECOVERY

STATE
Reporting
(obligation)

RETREADING
REUSE
Flow of goods

COLLECTING
POINTS

PRODUCTS

OPERATORS

contracts

ASSOCIATION OF
PRODUCERS
PRODUCERS

Flow of money

This system appears to be the most suitable and robust for addressing and resolving end of life tyre
arisings, in a sustainable manner for the long term, and to achieve a 100% recovery rate, in the most
economical way. On the whole the tyre manufacturers have demonstrated a clear preference for this
system and have deployed determination and commitment to take this route. In 2011, the network is
including 15 countries and other EU Member States are set to follow in the near future.
Countries: Belgium, Estonia, Finland, France, Greece, Hungary, Italy, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland,
Portugal, Romania, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden and Turkey.
Despite a still quite heterogeneous situation in Europe the remarkable progress that has been achieved
is due largely to the proactive attitude of the profession. Even prior to the passing of the Directive on the
landfill of waste in 1999, the industry had been active in taking action to organise the different players
in the recovery chain with the creation of ELTs management companies/associations at national level.

End of life tyres –

A valuable resource with growing potential – 2011 edition

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The national associations, voluntary consortia, joint companies and boards that were set up jointly by
tyre producers/importers to take responsibility for end of life tyres are financed in different manners
according to the legal system prevalent in the country and these organisations in turn organise and
manage the end of life recovery chain in different ways.
By professionalising the service providers – collectors, sorters and reprocessors – the goal is to significantly improve the recovery rate and traceability and develop applications with added value which
utilise the full potential of the properties of rubber.

Promoting Producer Responsibility
Country arisings and recovery rates demonstrate that producer responsibility achieves more robust results than the purely market driven approach as well as the ultimate objective of 100% recovery whereby
not only the annual arisings are recovered but the historic stockpiles are also progressively eliminated.
In 2010, EU countries operating under Producer Responsibility scheme represented 44% of EU used
tyres arisings. This ratio has risen to 57% in 2011 as a consequence of Italy joining the number of countries under PR scheme.
 
ELT management companies set up by the tyre manufacturers are mandated to collect and organize the
treatment of an equivalent amount (according to the principle ‘one new tyre sold one worn tyre recovered’) of the volumes of tyres sold collectively by these companies. The process is financed through an
environmental fee generally applied to the product price, regardless of the location of the collection
point. Thanks to the success of the scheme, this fee has decreased over time. The chain is managed by
the ELT companies, from collection to recovery or recycling, with the support of a reliable and transparent traceability or auditing system.

ii. Tax system
Under the tax system each country is responsible for the recovery and recycling of the end of life tyres.
It is financed by a tax levied on (tyre) production and subsequently passed on to the customer. This is
an intermediate system whereby the producers pay a tax to the State, which is responsible overall for
the organisation and remunerates the operators in the recovery chain.
Countries: Denmark, Slovak Republic

III. Free market system
Under this system, the legislation sets the objectives to be met but does not designate those responsible. In this way all the operators in the recovery chain contract under free market conditions and act
in compliance with legislation. This may be backed up by voluntary cooperation between companies
to promote best practices.
Countries: Austria, Bulgaria, Croatia, Germany, Ireland, Switzerland. Although operating under a freemarket system, United Kingdom features an hybrid system as collectors and treatment operators have
to report to national authorities, hence could be named as “managed free-market” system.

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A valuable resource with growing potential – 2011 edition

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III. A host of end markets for ELTs
i. Almost an infinite number of potential applications
The tyre is a complex and high-tech safety product representing a century of manufacturing innovation,
which is still on-going. The tyre comprises many materials, the very best the metallurgical, textile and
chemical industries can produce. There is no room for even the slightest defect and it is an extremely
complex process to develop and manufacture the product.
From a materials point of view, the tyre is a mixture of synthetic and natural rubber, to which are added
a range of specific substances to ensure performance, durability and safety. These include mineral oil,
reinforcing fillers (carbon black and silica) and vulcanising agents (sulphur) which act as catalysts to
accelerate the vulcanization process.
These characteristics contribute in many ways to enabling the development of a variety of recovery
routes and end markets.

ii. Material Recovery
Whole tyres used in civil engineering applications – Those applications vary from coastal protection,
erosion barriers, artificial reefs, breakwaters, avalanche shelters, slope stabilisation, road embankments and landfill construction operations, sound barriers, insulation. This market is for the moment
confined to single projects and therefore fairly small scale.
Shredded tyres – Whole tyres are mechanically sheared into shreds ranging in size from 25-300 mm.
Tyre Derived Aggregate is used as foundation for roads and railways, as a draining material replacement for sand and gravels, landfill construction, subgrade fill and embankments; backfill for walls and
bridges and subgrade insulation for roads.
Advantages of Tyre derived Aggregate
Tyre derived aggregate is lighter by 30-50%; drains 10 times better than well graded soil and provides
8 times better insulation than gravel.
Granulated and powdered rubber – After the removal of the steel and fabric components the remaining
rubber is reduced to granular rubber.
Applications include moulded rubber products such as wheels for caddies, dustbins, wheelbarrows
and lawnmowers, urban furniture and sign posts.
Granulated and powdered rubber are also to be found as flooring for playgrounds and sports stadiums, as shock absorbing mats for schools and stables, as paving blocks or tiles for patios and swimming pool surrounds as well as roofing materials.
Granulated rubber is also widely used in the construction of artificial turf for example in football fields.
Rubber modified asphalt takes advantage of the elasticity and noise absorbing characteristics of the
rubber. Although this increases the life span of the road surface, reduces the noise pollution and increases safety in wet road conditions, it is still relatively underutilised (a few hundred kilometres of
roads in total) despite its many advantages.

End of life tyres –

A valuable resource with growing potential – 2011 edition

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Electric Arc Furnaces – Shredded tyres can be used in steelworks equipped with electric arc furnaces
as a substitute for anthracite and scrap metal. This application has been validated for industrial use in
Belgium and in France where about 6,000 tonnes of end of life tyres are consistently used. This is encouraging as the application uses both the carbon and steel content of the tyres. Such use is already under
development in the US and will most certainly follow a similar trend in Europe in the years to come.
The use of ELT derived products in steel plants confirmed that carbon and iron contained in tyres
may be used partly or entirely to substitute the use of anthracite during the manufacturing of steel
at 1,650 degrees. Indeed 1.7 kg of ELTs is equivalent to 1 kg of anthracite. The environmental impacts
are positive regarding dust and gaseous effluents. Overall there are no significant differences in the
total environmental impact due to the use of tyres or anthracite. The capacity is nearly unlimited.

Emerging opportunities
Pyrolysis/Thermolysis – Thermal treatment technologies – pyrolysis, thermolysis and gasification –
are some of the emerging solutions for recovering value from end of life tyres.
Tyre pyrolysis involves the thermal decomposition of end of life tyres into intermediate substances
such as gas, oil and char. The economic viability of this alternative route for high temperature resource
recovery from tyres is hampered by the fact that the prices obtained for the by-products often fail to
justify the process costs.
Under current market conditions the economic viability of these options has yet to be proved (there are
few or no large-scale plants currently in operation) but they have the merit to offer scope for increasing
recovery rates.

iii. Energy recovery
With a calorific value equivalent to that of good quality coal, end of life tyres are used as an alternative
to fossil fuels. The increase in the price of oil and the necessity to preserve resources could favour the
development of this type of application.
The specifications are:
> The calorific power of 1 passenger car tyre is equivalent to 7.6 litres of oil (lower sulphur content);
> ELT have a similar calorific value as a high quality coal, with the advantage that the emissions of
(heavy) metals are much lower (see graph next page);
> The incineration residue can also be used as replacement for other raw materials (e.g. raw material
in clinker for cement industry);
> The biomass effect on ELTs combustion:
• 20% of the weight of ELTs is latex
• Latex is polyisoprene (C5H8): it is composed of 88 Carbon atoms
• for a complete combustion, 1 tonne of ELTs generates 647 kg of CO2 from biomass

End of life tyres –

A valuable resource with growing potential – 2011 edition

11
Energy Recovery

Energy Recovery

Heavy Metals in End-of-Life Tyres and Coal

“Biomass effect”
on ELTs combustion

mg/kg
100
90
80

20% of the weight of ELT is latex

70
60

Latex is polyisoprene (C5H8) :
it is composed of 88 of Carbon atoms

50
40

1 tonne of ELT generates 647 kg
of CO2 from biomass

30
20
10

COAL

m

ium

miu
Cad

ony

nic

cury

Thall

Mer

Antim

Arse

m

Lead

alt

miu

Cob

Chro

se

per

gane

el
Nick

Cop

Man

Van

ELT

adiu

Tin

m

0

For the complete combustion
1 tonne of ELT is equivalent
to 647 kg of CO2

Source : VW Kraftwerk GmbH Labor

Case study : ELTs Biomass Content and Calorific Value
Comparable calorific value, Less CO2 emissions than traditional fossil fuels
A three-year study by Aliapur, the French ELT management company, released in July 2009, has proven what the
cement industry has known since the 1970s – used tyres as fuels have high calorific value with less environmental
impact than traditional fossil fuels. Unlike coal and petroleum coke, used tyres when burned produce carbon-neutral
CO2 emissions due to their organic components, e.g. natural rubber, rayon, and stearic acid.
ELTs when burned emit less fossil carbon dioxide due to their biomass components. Used passenger car tyres, according to the study, have biomass fractions between 17% to 20% while used truck tyres are 29% to 30% biomass.

Parameter

Used Passenger Car Tyres

Used Truck Tyres

Coal

Petroleum Coke

Biomass

17-20.3%
(µ 18.3%)

28.6-29.7%
(µ 29.1 %)

0%

0%

67.5 – 70.1% (µ 69.0%)

59.7-62.6% (µ 61.1%)

64-68%

84-97%

29.5 – 30.6 (µ 30.2)

26.1 – 26.7 (µ 26.4)

26

32

Carbon
NCV (MJ/kg)

The biomass fraction of the used tyres was quantified through ASTM D6866, which is a standard method based on
radiocarbon dating techniques. ELTs were also characterized by measuring their calorific values (amount of heat
released during combustion) and carbon, hydrogen, oxygen, nitrogen, sulphur, chlorine, fluorine, and bromine content.
The study aimed to establish reference values and provide details on the chemical properties of used tyres. Results
are used by France’s State Department for the Environment as reference for calculations of CO2 emissions from
cement plants. As a result, industrialists that use tyres as an alternative source of fuel take advantage of reductions
in their declarations of CO2 emissions.

End of life tyres –

A valuable resource with growing potential – 2011 edition

© aliapur

© aliapur

© aliapur

© signus

12

Cement kilns – The cement sector is the main application for energy recovery and new kilns are increasingly equipped to use end of life tyres as supplementary fuel. This is not astonishing since ELTs
offer a high net calorific value comparable to petroleum coke and even higher than coal.
Energy-intensive industries use ELTs to reduce their fuel expenses and comply with air quality and
pollution control regulations. ELTs are cheaper than coal and petroleum coke; thus, ELTs use generates savings. Many countries around the world now require companies to annually report their
CO2 emissions. Using ELTs as fossil fuel alternative enables companies to report lesser fossil CO2
emissions. Moreover, companies participating in cap-and-trade schemes like the European Union
Emissions Trading Scheme can also obtain carbon credits when they have low fossil CO2 emissions.
Carbon credits have monetary value and can be sold or traded.
Assuming all ELTs that were energy recovered in 2010 would be co-incinerated in cement kilns, 1.83
million tonnes of CO2 equivalents would be saved annually.
The cement sector requires 30 million tonnes of fuel equivalent per annum and the total annual arising of ELTs is 2.7 million tonnes! Even if all Europe’s ELTs were sent to cement kilns they would only
represent about 10% of the total amount of fuel required by the cement industry.
Thermal power stations – This particular application is underdeveloped in the EU but much more
widespread in the US.
Pulp and paper mills – Again the elevated cost of energy could create openings for use of tyre derived products in this sector. At present this application is not developed in Europe but it is quite
common in the US (this represents 13.8% of US 2009 ELT generated tonnage5).
5. US Scrap Tire Management Summary, 20052009 , Rubber manufacturers Association,
(October 2011)

Market outlook for tyre derived products
The various market segments face different challenges and the rising cost of energy will no doubt
remain a critical factor and stimulate market growth for tyre derived products used as an alternative
fuel.

End of life tyres –

A valuable resource with growing potential – 2011 edition

13

>>

iv. Towards end of waste status
for ELT derived materials
The European tyre manufacturers have been active over the years to make the intrinsic qualities of end of
life tyres recognized to obtain eventually end of waste status for their derived products.
The Waste Framework Directive (2008/98/EC) introduces the concept of end of waste, by which selected
waste streams could cease to be considered as waste if they comply with end of waste criteria.
> A market or demand for ELT derived materials should exist (see Part III A host of end markets for ELTs)
> ELT derived materials should be commonly used for specific purposes and meet related technical
requirements (see Part III A host of end markets for ELTs)
> ELT derived materials should meet existing legislation and standards applicable to products
> The use of ELT derived materials should not lead to overall adverse environmental or human health
impacts

i. Characterization of ELT derived products through standards
The on-going development of quality standards for ELT derived materials at CEN level (TC366) together
with high ELT recycling and recovery performance achieved throughout Europe is a major step towards
getting the end of waste status for ELT derived products.
The benefits expected from this TC will be to allow the field of ELTs to become reliable, long lasting, industrially and economically balanced and to respond to the needs of industry standardizing relevant physical
and chemical properties of tyre derived materials.
Furthermore, the development of EU standards contributes to a significant increase of the level of quality
of tyre derived products while opening the market to new applications, promoting technology exchanges
and access to know-how and innovation and protecting the environment.
A case in point is the publication in May 2010 of CEN TS14243 “Materials produced from end of life tyres –
Specification of categories based on their dimension(s) and impurities and methods for determining their
dimension(s) and impurities”. This Technical Specification aims at characterizing the different materials
derived from end of life tyres in terms of dimensions (ELT cuts, shreds, chips, granulates and powders)
and impurities (steel & textile) using harmonized methods of sampling and testing.
A new Business Plan for CEN TC366 is currently being elaborated to convert CEN TS14243 into an EN
standard.

ii. Better knowledge of environmental and health impacts of ELT
recovery routes
The use of Life Cycle Assessment, a method for assessing the overall environmental impact of a product from cradle to grave, and the development of leaching studies has led to a better knowledge of the
environmental and health impacts of ELT recovery routes.

End of life tyres –

A valuable resource with growing potential – 2011 edition

14
It is expected that this will also contribute to qualify those ELT derived products with the end of waste status by demonstrating that their use does not lead to overall adverse environmental or human health impacts.

Case study – Aliapur’s LCA of 9 recovery methods for end-of-life tyres
At a time when several used tyre recovery methods have achieved a certain maturity, Aliapur performed a comparative environmental evaluation of 9 recovery alternatives for end of life tyres.
The 9 selected routes, that are representative of the main recycling & recovery routes are:
> Recovery in Civil engineering applications (public works): Retention & infiltration basin
> Energy recovery route: Cement kilns and urban heating
> Material recycling: Steel works, foundries, moulded objects, synthetic turf, equestrian floors.
In addition to comparing the different alternatives, this environmental evaluation aimed at identifying the strengths and
weaknesses of each recovery method, and of the management of used tyres as a whole. This evaluation was based on
the Life Cycle Assessment approach and conformed to the methodological prescriptions developed in ISO 14040 and
ISO 14044 standards. It was carried out by PricewaterhouseCoopers Ecobilan in 2009, a consulting firm specialising in
life cycle assessments, and was reviewed by a committee of European LCA experts and interested parties.

Cement works

Steelworks

Urban heating

Equestrian floor

Retention basin

infiltration basin

Foundry

Emissions of greenhouse gas of
fossil origin (direct, 100 years)
(in kg eq. CO2)

Moulded object

Indicators

Synthetic turf

Parameter

-3,217

-2,703

-1,466

-672

-1,275

-342

-448

-11

-1,193

Source: ALIAPUR 2010

The main conclusions of the study
Globally positive results
The LCA made it possible to identify that, under present conditions, all the recovery methods studies provided net
environmental benefits, regardless of the environmental impact considered.
Justified investment in the preparation stages
The study also revealed that the impact of the collection, sorting and shredding/granulation stages is secondary in
relation to the benefits obtained from the recovery process.
The hierarchy of recovery methods brought into doubt
The LCA shows that the environmental assessment of material recycling methods is not systematically better than
that of energy recovery ones. End use applications must be assessed on a case-by-case basis.
Hence the recovery routes for ELTs are both economically and environmentally relevant and play a role in changing
the status of end of life tyres from waste to products.
Source : Lifecycle analysis of 9 ELT recovery routes, Aliapur R&D, June 2010

End of life tyres –

A valuable resource with growing potential – 2011 edition

15

v. Conclusions

Resource-Efficient Europe thanks to Producer Responsibility
On the one hand, ever-spiralling energy and raw material costs could have a positive impact on the
further development of the end of life market, especially for tyre-derived products used as secondary raw materials, as the tyre industry uses 70% of all natural rubber produced worldwide and estimates for the next 30 years predict that consumption will double, whilst the availability of natural and
synthetic rubbers may become problematic in the coming years.
Consequently, there will be an increased pressure for the sector to better manage that source of
secondary raw materials in a sustainable way and all applications that recycle or recover rubber will
help to preserve this valuable resource.
Significant improvements in resource efficiency can be met by removing bureaucratic policies regarding recycling and re-utilisation of materials and articles. At present, end of life tyre-derived products
have to be managed as waste, even if they are going to be recycled or remanufactured.
This is a burden, which adds significant cost over disposal and in many cases act as a barrier to
improved resource efficiency. This may be resolved through pragmatic end-of-waste criteria measures
as foreseen in the EU Waste Framework Directive.

>>

End of life tyres –

A valuable resource with growing potential – 2011 edition

16
On the other hand, ETRMA is very concerned about national developments triggered by economic and
financial considerations which endanger the sustainability of the very model of collective producer
responsibility established in Europe.
This model, widely used in Europe, has largely proved its economical and environmental efficiency as
demonstrates the continuous decrease of the ELT eco-contribution over the years in the countries with
Producer Responsibility schemes and concomitant increase of the ELT recovery performance.
The most recent case being Italy, the third biggest tyre market in Europe, that has shifted from a freemarket system towards a collective producer responsibility system. As a matter of fact, Ecopneus, a
collective ELT management scheme created by tyre manufacturers, started its operations in September
2011.
A case in point is Hungary where the government has recently set a tax-based system aiming at replacing several existing collective Producer Responsibility schemes which were operating for years, of
which ELTs. In a situation of economic turmoil, such move might have a cascading effect on neighbouring countries and endanger the very existence of the collective PR model sustainably implemented.
The industry is increasingly earmarking resources to get a better knowledge of the environmental benefits of its various recovery routes and better quantify the various recovery markets. Results of recently
conducted Life cycle assessments (LCAs) demonstrate that under present conditions, the substitution of
traditional materials by ELTs proved to be environmentally positive in most of the scenarios considered.
Furthermore, the determination of representative reference values (net calorific value, emissions and
biomass fraction) for tyre derived fuels help positioning ELTs favourably amongst other traditional
solid fuels. As a result, industrialists that use tyres as an alternative fuel source reduce their energy
bills whilst declaring less CO2 emissions.
Finally, the future adoption of a new Business Plan for CEN TC366 (Materials obtained from ELTs) will
contribute to a significant improvement of the level of quality of tyre derived products while opening
the market to new applications, promoting technology exchanges and access to know-how and innovation and protecting the environment.
To conclude, ETRMA members are committed to pursuing the promotion of their efficient strategy
traceable down to the supply chain to encourage the development of the best available techniques
for the recycling and recovery of end of life tyres in the EU Member States and beyond and will remain
vigilant to avoid the development of national regulations which might impact the sustainability of the
Producer responsibility model for ELTs in Europe

Brussels, 31 January 2012

End of life tyres –

A valuable resource with growing potential – 2011 edition

Annexes

17

Annex I: Used Tyres recovery in Europe (EU27, NO+CH) in 2010
UT/Part Worn Tyres/ELT’s Europe – Volumes Situation 2010
National figures Used Tyres
(tonnes)
(UT)
Arising
(A)

Reuse of Part-worn tyres
Reuse Export Retreading
(B)

(C)

(D)

ELT recovery

ELT
Arising
(E)= A(B+C+D)

Material
Civil
engineering1 (F)

Energy

Recycling2
Total 3
Energy
(G)
(H)=(F+G) recovery (I)

Landfill/
Unknown

Total UT
recovery

UT
treated

(K)=
(B+C+D+ (L)=K/A4
H+I)

(J)

Austria (est.)

60 000

0

7 000

3 000

50 000

0

20 000

20 000

30 000

0

60 000

100%

Belgium
Bulgaria (est.)
Cyprus (est.)
Czech Rep. (est.)

82 000
20 000
8 000
57 000

1 000
0
0
0

2 000
0
0
0

10 000
0
0
2 000

69 000
20 000
8 000
55 000

1 000
0
0
0

56 000
0
0
9 000

57 000
0
0
9 000

17 000
0
0
29 000

0
20 000
8 000
17 000

87 000
0
0
40 000

106%
0%
0%
70%

Denmark
Estonia (est.)

38 000
10 000

0
0

0
0

1 000
0

37 000
10 000

0
0

37 000
5 000

37 000
5 000

0
4 000

0
1 000

38 000
9 000

100%
90%

41 000
381 000
614 000
49 000
30 000
35 000
426 000
10 000
11 000
1 000
65 000

0
36 000
10 000
0
0
3 000
0
0
0
0
0

0
0
84 000
0
0
2 000
12 000
0
0
1 000
13 000

1 000
43 000
45 000
2 000
1 000
2 000
43 000
0
0
0
2 000

40 000
302 000
475 000
47 000
29 000
28 000
371 000
10 000
11 000
0
50 000

40 000
38 000
0
0
5 000
8 000
20 000
0
0
0
1 000

0
128 000
215 000
27 000
10 000
17 000
80 000
5 000
5 000
0
39 000

40 000
166 000
215 000
27 000
15 000
25 000
100 000
5 000
5 000
0
40 000

0
147 000
260 000
15 000
14 000
0
180 000
4 000
4 000
0
10 000

0
0
0
5 000
0
3 000
91 000
1 000
2 000
0
0

41 000
392 000
614 000
44 000
30 000
32 000
335 000
9 000
9 000
1 000
65 000

100%
103%
100%
90%
100%
91%
79%
90%
82%
100%
100%

239 000
92 000
33 000
23 000

0
1 000
0
0

0
2 000
0
0

20 000
18 000
0
1 000

219 000
71 000
33 000
22 000

0
0
0
0

51 000
50 000
1 000
21 000

51 000
50 000
1 000
21 000

168 000
26 000
32 000
1 000

0
0
0
0

239 000
97 000
33 000
23 000

100%
105%
100%
100%

11 000
292 000
79 000
465 000

0
31 000
0
44 000

0
0
1 000
54 000

0
27 000
0
32 000

11 000
234 000
78 000
335 000

0
8 000
12 000
75 000

6 000
114 000
19 000
149 000

6 000
122 000
31 000
224 000

5 000
112 000
47 000
102 000

0
0
0
9 000

11 000
292 000
79 000
456 000

100%
100%
100%
98%

51 000
50 000

1 000
3 000

1 000
7 000

0
5 000

49 000
35 000

34 000
0

4 000
5 000

38 000
5 000

11 000
30 000

0
0

51 000
50 000

100%
100%

3 273 000 130 000 186 000 258 000

2 699 000

242 000 1 073 000

1 315 000

1 248 000 157 000 3 137 000

96%

Finland
France
Germany
Greece
Hungary
Ireland
Italy
Latvia (est.)
Lithuania (est.)
Malta (est.)
Netherlands
(PC only)
Poland
Portugal
Romania
Slovak Rep.
(est.)
Slovenia (est.)
Spain
Sweden
UK (est.)
Norway
Switzerland
EU27+NO+CH
(2010)
Turkey

188 000

0

0

0

188 000

0

39 000

39 000

33 000

103 400

72 000

85%5

Producer Responsibility schemes / 15 countries (as per 31.12.2011)
Civil engineering, public works & backfilling
Recycling: includes granulation, use of ELTs in steel mills
and foundries as well as use as dock fenders, blasting mats, …
3
Material recovery
1
2

4

UT treatment > 100% : the quantity of Used Tyres treated can
exceed the arising in some countries where Producer Responsibility is in place, because ELT management organizations may have
collected more than their obligation

5

In Turkey, the 2010 national UT arising is estimated at
188,000 t. The producer responsibility obligation for 2010 is
limited to collecting and managing 45% of that tonnage.
This obligation is set at 50% in 2011 and will progressively
increase in the following years.

End of life tyres –

A valuable resource with growing potential – 2011 edition

18

Annex II: European legislation impacting tyre recycling
1993
Regulation on supervision and control of trans-border shipment of waste 259/93/EEC
1999 Directive on the Landfill of Waste – 1999/31/EC
> Ban on used tyres (whole tyres) in landfill starting July 2003
> Ban on shredded tyres in landfill starting July 2006
2000 European Waste List – 2000/532/EC and further amendments
End of life tyres are classified under code ‘16 01 03’
2000 Directive on Incineration of Waste – 2000/76/EC
> Fixes emission standards for all cement kilns starting in 2002
> Older cement kilns prohibited from burning end-of-life tyres after 2008
> From December 2008, new provisions apply to cement kilns co-incinerating waste including end of life tyres.
The cement kilns currently burning ELT in Europe are already complying with this Directive.
2000 Directive on End of Life Vehicles (ELV) – 2000/53/EC
> 85% of scrap cars to be recovered starting 2006
> tyres to be dismantled from vehicles increasing ELT arising by 10%
2001 EC Decision on EU list of wastes – 2001/118/EC, end of life tyres are classified under entry 16.01.03. This text
applies from 1st January 2002 in EU Member States.
2005
EC Thematic strategy on prevention and recycling of waste – COM(2005)666 final)
> provides an holistic analysis of the major achievements in the waste management area for the past 30 years.
It stresses a need to further developing approaches for the determination of best environmental options and
for the setting of targets for recycling and recovery of waste, taking into account the differences between
products and materials and the possible alternative.
> encourages the principle of producer responsibility- strategy proactively applied by the tyre manufacturers
since late 90’s in anticipation of EU regulatory requirements.
2008 Waste Framework Directive – 2008/98/EC
> s ets the basic concepts and definitions related to waste management and lays down waste management
principles such as the “polluter pays principle” or the “waste hierarchy”.
> introduces the concept of end of waste, by which selected waste streams could cease to be considered as
waste if they comply with end of waste criteria.

Annex III: International bodies recommendations on tyre recycling
2004

2011

OECD Environment Policy Committee
Improving Markets for Secondary Materials: Case Study Report on Rubber
(ENV/EPOC/WPNEP(2004)2, 30 April 2004)
UNEP Basel Convention
Technical Guidelines on Environmental Sound Management of Used Tyres
(UNEP/CHW.10/6/Add.1/Rev1, Revised Final version adopted at COP10, 31 October 2011).

End of life tyres –

A valuable resource with growing potential – 2011 edition

19

Annex IV: National ELTs management companies
Belgium

Chris Lorquet: www.recytyre.be

Estonia

Kaur Kuurme: www.rehviliit.ee

Finland

Risto Tuominen: www.rengaskierratys.com

France

Eric Fabiew: www.aliapur.com

Greece

Giorgios Mavrias: www.ecoelastika.gr

Hungary

Andras Kovacs: www.hurec.hu

Italy

Giovanni Corbetta: www.ecopneus.it

NL

Cees van Oostenrijk: www.recybem.nl

Norway

Hroar Braathen: www.dekkretur.no

Spain

Jesús María Núñez Imaz: www.signus.es

Poland

Grzegorz Karnicki: www.utylizacjaopon.pl

Portugal

Climénia Silva : www.valorpneu.pt

Romania

Florin Brabete: www.ecoanvelope.ro

Sweden

Lars Åman : www.svdab.se

Turkey

Bahadir Ünsal: www.lasder.org.tr

End of life tyres –

A valuable resource with growing potential – 2011 edition

20

About ETRMA
ETRMA is the Voice of European tyre and rubber manufacturers, representing 4,200 companies in EU27, employing 360,000 individuals, with an industry turnover
exceeding of € 46 bn.
In 1989, a Used Tyres Group dedicated to the management of end of life tyres was set up under the strategic
guidance of the ETRMA’s Tyre Steering Committee. This
Group is composed of experts from the main tyre manufacturers producing in Europe, which are Apollo Vredestein, Bridgestone Europe, Continental, Goodyear
Dunlop Tires Europe, Hankook Tire Europe, Marangoni,
Michelin and Pirelli Tyre.

The European tyre industry is committed to assist in
promoting environmentally and economically sound
end of life management practices for its products. The
industry continues to promote the development of appropriate markets for end of life tyres, provides technical and policy information regarding end of life tyres
management, and advocates a legislative and regulatory framework that contributes to the achievement of
these goals.
ETRMA undertakes action to host European, international and national conferences for authorities and advocates for sound EU programs to address end of life
tyre issues.

The Used Tyres group mission is to:
Promote the environmentally and economically sound
management (recovery and recycling) of end of life tyres
in those countries where tyres are still diverted to landfill, and proactively pursue Producer Responsibility with
a dedicated financing scheme;
Provide the necessary assistance in EU Member States
in anticipating the achievement of the provisions of the
EU Landfill Directive for end of life tyres from 2006;
Promote the principle that end of life tyres are a resource that can be used in a wide array of applications;
Propose a “downstream management” for tyres coming
from end of life vehicles;
Develop procedures to ensure that end of life tyres exported do not go into illegal reuse.
The activity of the Used Tyres Group covers all the Member States of the EU, plus Candidate Countries such as
Turkey and Croatia.

ETRMA does not represent and does not have any vested interest in the processing of end of life tyres or in
any product made from end of life tyres.
ETRMA promotes the principle that end of life tyres are
a valuable resource with growing potential.
This edition is the 4th report on end of life tyres management in Europe published by ETRMA as part of the
tyre manufacturers’ continued commitment to promote the best available techniques for the effective
recycling and recovery of end of life tyres.

Mrs. Fazilet CINARALP
Secretary General
f.cinaralp@etrma.org

Mr. Jean-Pierre TAVERNE
EU Technical Coordinator
End of life tyres
elt@etrma.org

>>
http://www.etrma.org

2 Avenue des Arts, box 12 • B-1210 Brussels
Tel. +32 2 218 49 40 • Fax +32 2 218 61 62
info@etrma.org • www.etrma.org

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