Tyre recycling complies with the waste hierarchy as provided in the EU's waste directive and in the new Waste Act, which stipulates that the aim is first and foremost to prevent the generation of waste. As much as possible, the tyres are prepared for reuse, recycled as material or recovered as energy, in this order.
Life cycle of
tyres from the consumer to recovery:
Tyre casings which are in good condition can be retreaded through a careful inspection procedure. Truck tyres are retreaded twice, on average, in Finland. They are typically retreaded on the customer’s tyre casing; thus, they show up in the recycling statistics only after they have reached the end of their life.
The majority of tyres are utilized whole or processed as cuts or shreds for road construction. Rubber granules are used in surface structures which require elasticity, such as top layers of artificial turf, sports fields and playgrounds. Tyre crumbs are used as a binding agent in asphalt to reduce tyre noise and improve wear resistance.
As landfill site construction declines, new recovery methods are constantly being developed for end-of-life tyres in Finland and abroad. There are more than a hundred scientific and technological studies concerning end-of-life tyres’ further processing methods and usage as well as concerning their environmental effects.
The recovery routes of end-of-life tyres in 2014 (%):