The tyre recycling industry is in a state of flux across Europe. There is a deep need for change in the way we deal with end of life tyres (ELT) according to ETRA (the European Tyre Recycling Association).
ETRA has been running seminars and conferences for over two decades and it has been key to the development of the modern tyre recycling industry, developing research projects, lobbying governments across Europe and taking tyre recycling issues to the European Commission itself.
This year’s conference, the 22nd, will take place at the NH Brussels du Grand Sablon, in Brussels on the 25th-27th March 2015. The conference offers the recycling sector an opportunity to come together to discuss the latest challenges and opportunities to face this increasingly important and specialised industry. Lest anyone is in any doubt, tyre recycling is an industry in its own right, it has clearly defined raw materials, a structure for processing and markets for the end products. It is an industry that has specific challenges unlike virtually any other industrial sector.
The very fact that the raw material, the tyre, is designed to take an incredible amount of abuse is the first barrier that any recycler has to overcome, and machinery that chews up concrete and boulders and spits them out as gravel, litterally grinds to a halt when fed a few tyres. This is a highly specialised, highly technical recycling sector, and it rightly needs its industry association, ETRA, to provide a coming together of specialists in this unique industrial field.
Anyone in the field of rubber recycling, from collectors, to pyrolysis specialists; from shredder manufacturers to polymer blenders using tyre powder as a filler in their products. This year’s conference will be discussing the issues surrounding the ongoing availability of tyres for recycling. Speakers will challenge the export of end of life tyres, they will question the way in which the industry is managed across Europe and how that impacts upon availability and the incentive to invest and develop new technologies.
Delegates to the 22nd ETRA Conference in Brussels will hear about the latest developments in research and markets across Europe. There will be particular attention paid to the use of ELT related materials in concrete and in construction, not just the rubber, but the textiles and the steel wires, which offer opportunities for both insulation and reinforcement of concrete and cement products. Tyres need not just be fuel for the kilns, they can contribute to the creation of improved product qualities.
Additionally there will be a Pyrolysis panel looking at how the tried and tested pyrolysis industry is tackling the very specialist challenges created when pyrolysing tyres in a modern European or North American environment. This is a sector that promises high returns to those who manage to control the input and the output to obtain consistent standards within the environmental constraints set out in European and National environmental laws.
Overall, this is a conference where highly focussed representatives of the rubber recycling sector can network with their peers from across the global industry, exchanging ideas and opportunities.
The tyre recycling industry is growing up and it has to seek new markets and new routes to develop itself. This conference creates a launchpad for the rubber recycling sector to set itself apart from any other, as an industry with its own unique challenges and opportunities.