Finnish Tyre Recycling Ltd
Did you know that about 50,000 tonnes of car tyres are taken off the roads every year in Finland? This is enough to produce tyres for about six million passenger cars. Looked at another way, this amount of tyres could cover about 340 football fields. Our job is to collect old, worn-out tyres and make recycled products from them. We want to help both tyre industry professionals and consumers to take care of the natural environment, and to make the circular economy in Finland even more efficient and effective.
The recycling system is the tyre industry’s own creation
As recently as the early 1990s, tyre recycling in Finland was very haphazard and unregulated, and was strongly dependent on operators being environmentally aware. Consequently, most disused tyres ended up being dumped in landfills, and in the environment. Among the first to see the need to tackle this problem were the tyre traders and importers that founded Finnish Tyre Recycling Ltd on their own initiative. That was in 1995. Ever since then, our task, on behalf of our members, has been to take care of the collection and recycling of tyres in an environmentally responsible way. We began our recycling operations in 1996.
Recycling and the law
Recycling practices for tyres are legally regulated. The first Finnish legislation on the handling and reuse of old tyres was a government decree passed in 1996, and our operations are now controlled by the Waste Act (646/2012), which came into force in 2012. According to the act, it is the responsibility of all tyre producers – that is, manufacturers, importers, producers and sellers of resurfaced tyres, and the manufacturers and importers of all vehicles using tyres – to separately collect and recover old tyres in such a way that at least 95 percent by weight of tyres are reused, recycled or otherwise put to use every year. As a community of producers, we work with our contract partner, the recycling operator Kuusakoski Oy, to ensure that the statutory goals of our members are met easily and efficiently. The clearest sign of our success is that the usage rate for worn-out tyre material in Finland has exceeded the annual target for many years now.
Consumers deserve affordability and convenience
Our system for recycling and repurposing tyres is designed to be efficient and to bring the greatest possible benefit to consumers. Tyre dealers are required by law to take back a reasonable amount of old tyres from customers, free of charge. When buying new tyres, the consumer pays a recycling fee for the old tyres. In 2018, this fee is EUR 1.74 for passenger cars. This is how we fund the tyre recycling system. At the same time, we continue to develop our operations, and have been able to reduce the cost of recycling for several years in a row.
Recycling saves the environment
When a consumer buys new tyres, the old ones are usually left with the dealer. From there, our recycling operator Kuusakoski Oy collects them at its regional terminals, where they are sorted and processed for further use. Due to the various useful properties of the material, most cut-up tyres are used in earthwork and excavation work. Nowadays many tyres find a new life in other ways too, such as in water purification systems, as protective material for playgrounds, or as filling for horseriding tracks to provide greater elasticity. Another recycling use for old tyres is as a binding agent in asphalt. Tyre rubber can also be broken down to its component substances by pyrolysis, i.e. dry distillation. We want to continuously develop increasingly effective applications of the circular economy to reduce the consumption of virgin and non-renewable materials, while at the same time creating new jobs.
Tyre recycling in figures
- A total of 54,940 tonnes of old tyres were collected in 2017. Of this amount, 766 tonnes were sent for resurfacing, 31,343 tonnes for use in construction and other material applications, and 10,981 tonnes for producing energy.
- Between 1996 and 2017, a total of 888,595 tonnes of old tyres were recycled. About 50,000 tonnes of tyres are taken out of use in Finland every year, which is equivalent to the amount of tyres from six million passenger cars.
- Kuusakoski Oy maintains around 2,900 tyre collection points in Finland.
- See our website for more information on tyre recycling and collection points for worn-out tyres.
Finnish Tyre Recycling Ltd
- Founded: 31 October 1995
- Company shareholders: ARL-palvelu Oy (a service company of Tyre Specialists of Finland), Bridgestone Finland Oy, Continental Rengas Oy, Goodyear Dunlop Tires Finland Oy, Nokian Renkaat Oy, Suomen Michelin Oy
- Recycling operator: Kuusakoski Oy
- Managing Director: Risto Tuominen
- Website: https://www.rengaskierratys.com/en