Recycling tyres, creating jobs

10 January 2012

A waste tyre management plan to be rolled out later this year will create a “sustainable recycling industry” to deal with a major waste problem, the recycling initiative said on Monday.

The Recycling and Economic Development Initiative of South Africa (Redisa) said the Integrated Industry Waste Tyre Management Plan, which had been approved by Environmental Affairs Minister Edna Molewa, would create jobs and foster small and medium-sized businesses throughout the country.

Job creation, business development

“The new law is intended not only to support the creation of a sustainable recycling industry to deal with a major and problematic waste product, but also to create jobs and foster small and medium sized businesses in communities throughout the country,” the group said.

All involved in the industry have to register by 31 January 2012.

Redisa said the income generated from a rand-per-kilo levy charged to tyre manufacturers and importers would be used to help stimulate start-up businesses around the collection, transportation, storage and recycling of the waste.

It would also be used for research and development, training, monitoring and overall community upliftment.

10-million scrap tyres a year

The South African tyre industry produces more than 10-million scrap tyres a year.

According to Redisa it is estimated that between 60- and 100-million scrap tyres are stockpiled in South Africa.

“Waste tyres pose an environmental problem, both as pollutants and as breeding grounds for mosquitoes and vermin,” the group said.

“However, there is as yet no effective technology for disposing of tyres in an environmentally friendly yet economically viable way.

“The need for research and development, collection and recycling is therefore imperative. The opportunity for generating jobs and new industry businesses aligned to the recycling of waste tyres is of paramount importance.”

The group said the R2.30 per kilometre levy charged to the manufacturer would effectively subsidise the collection and recycling processes.

By giving the tyres a value for recycling, entrepreneurs would be able to build a business out of collecting tyres from their community and delivering them to a collection point.