Thousands of used Marlborough tyres could end up transformed as sneakers thanks to a new scheme to export tyres to Asia for recycling.
People will pay less to dump old tyres at transfer stations throughout Marlborough under the scheme, a partnership between the Marlborough District Council and a Christchurch-based tyre collection contractor. Scrap Tyre Movements owner Pat Rogers said tyres are exported to Asia in bales and ground down to a powder.
The powder is sold as raw material which is used for anything from roading to shoe soles.
Prior to the scheme, whole tyres could be taken to the landfill for between $5 and $10 per tyre. Alternatively, a tyre could be cut up and deposited within a regular trailer load of rubbish.[image: Wear this: Marlborough District Council operations and maintenance engineer Stephen Rooney, left, and Scrap Tyre Movements owner Pat Rogers are behind a new tyre recycling scheme]
On average, the scheme has reduced the disposal cost for the public by about $2 per tyre
Mr Rogers expected to collect a truck load of about 700 car tyres from Marlborough every week once the scheme gained traction.
“We expect to be inundated.”
Tyres were one of the most commonly dumped items because there were so many vehicles on the roads these days, Mr Rogers said.
Marlborough District Council operations and maintenance engineer Stephen Rooney said tyres in the landfill did not break down and took up space.
The company was expected to export at least 100 tonnes a week to Asia by the end of the year.
Demand was high for the raw product as it was cheap and versatile, Mr Rogers said.
Scrap Tyre Movements are also running a scheme to pick up unwanted tyres from tyre distribution companies in Marlborough.