The present alarming situation

It is estimated that, each year, approximately 1.5 billion tires (15 million tons) achieve their end-of-life throughout the world. This number will keep growing as global consumption increases caused mainly by a larger population.

The steady growth in global population is putting a strain on our planet’s resources and if the present situation continues, it could jeopardize its future sustainability. To ensure this won’t happen, we need to recycle and reuse resources.

Scrap tires should not be considered as a waste “to be burned”, but as a valuable resource.

Burning of scrap tires can be detrimental to our environment and result in a negative impact on our ecosystem. Emissions from Tire-Derived fuels, or the burning of tires, if not well controlled, may release toxins and pollutants into the atmosphere. Open scrap tire fires, in particular, are a major cause of concern because once they ignite, they are almost impossible to extinguish and, in some cases, they are left to burn out.

Some tire fires such as the ones that took place at Heyope (Wales – United Kingdom) and at Socorro (NM, USA) have taken more than 10 years to extinguish. While burning, they severely contaminate our ecosystem with hydrocarbons while emitting large quantities of CO2 and other pollutants into our atmosphere.

In addition to tire fire hazards, stockpiled tires provide health and safety risks because they become a breeding ground for insects and rodents that may carry diseases, such as the West Nile Virus. When landfilled, scrap tires take centuries to decompose, gradually releasing hazardous toxins.

These options are being increasingly discouraged because they destroy forever valuable resources that are becoming in short supply. If we don’t change our ways, our planet may soon not be able to supply the raw materials needed to manufacture all the products that will be required to fulfill future demand.

Examples of recent catastrophic tire fires: On May 13th, a tire fire started in Seseña, (Spain), affecting three quarters of the five million tires in an illegal tire dump. The fire created a blaze, which emitted fumes visible from Madrid 30 kilometers (20 miles) away. Savannah (GA – USA), Jahra (Kuwait), Nassau (Bahamas Island) and Iowa City (IA – USA) are other cities that have experienced devastating tire fires in the last 5 years. Accidents like this may still continue to happen. Sulaibiya (Kuwait), Mexico/USA borders and Colorado Springs (CO – USA) are locations that have huge tire dumps that may experience the next tire fire.

Seseña, south of Madrid, Spain, May 13, 2016. © Sergio Perez / Reuters

The only logical solution is to recycle for reuse

Pyrolysis: “A Clear Alternative”

Recycling alternatives based on Pyrolytic Technologies are gaining momentum and prominence as a sustainable method to recycle.

Governments and industries concerned about future sustainability are now adopting initiatives and programs that promote recycling and reuse. For example, tipping fees and carbon credits are encouraging new recycling initiatives.

Today, specific waste-to-products technologies such as Ecolomondo’s Thermal Decomposition Process (TDP) are being considered as a competitive alternative to conventional methods of waste treatment.

Scarcity in commodities caused by increased consumption will drive demand and pricing for recycled materials to levels that will make waste-to-products platforms a more viable commercial alternative because the results are end-products with a higher added value.

The need to recycle and reuse has never been so great. It is important to start now.

Ecolomondo’s technology: a clear option

Ecolomondo has developed the Thermal Decomposition Process (TDP), a green technology that uses a pyrolytic platform to decompose and recycle hydrocarbon waste. The company is currently marketing TDP turnkey facilities that decompose and recycle scrap tire waste. As its commercialization progresses, it will begin marketing TDP turnkey facilities for plastics, disposed diapers, asphalt roof shingles and ASR (automotive shred residue).

Ecolomondo has been dedicated for over 25 years to offer a viable alternative in its objective to effectively recycle hydrocarbon waste. TDP fulfills this goal by transforming waste into quality commodity end-products that are ready for market.

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