Turning a profit off tires 'unrealistic'

I own a tire recycling company in the U.S., and we also manufacture low-cost recycling equipment ($4,000-$23,000) and I agree with many of the comments. 

For the government to expect to be paid for removal of the tires is completely unrealistic. Used tires cost $1-$10 for disposal depending on where they are and their condition. The cost alone just to remove them from the island would be millions in U.S. dollars. 

Tire piles like this exist in most countries in the world and processors are still paid even when tires are delivered to the plant. 

While there is energy in the tires, the equipment to allow them to be burned safely costs millions, and they must be shredded first — and this equipment is also very expensive. 

Viable reuse as drivable tires is often under 1 percent if tires are less than one year old. 

Often it is not even financially viable to sort and remove this 1 percent as the prices for used tires is far too low. 

In instances such as this, we suggest stripping the tires down and compacting them, and then trying to sell or give away only the easily processed sidewalls and rubber crumb (dust) that has value. 

By processing the tires in this fashion, the equipment cost is far less, and if the clean rubber is either mulched or, better yet, turned to crumb (dust), it will then have a modest industrial value. 

The remainder of the tire can be rolled and packed into an area that is roughly one-fourth the size of the tire. 

In this condition, it will not hold water — so no mosquitoes — and will not be as attractive to rats, snakes and other creatures. These can also be used to build retaining walls and containment structures in the dump itself, exported (at cost), buried or re-purposed. 

It seems the real solution is for the disposal tax to be levied and actually used for tire disposal. 

Expecting companies to be interested in the tires for purchase is completely unrealistic. 

Given the cost of the processing, equipment, labor, retirement funds and other personnel, and related costs mentioned, it’s unrealistic — especially given that they are on the island. 

Tire piles like this are saved by many all over the world, and in 20 years and millions of tires, we have never encountered any tire hoarders that were paid for the tire piles — not once. 

What usually happens is the pile keeps being set on fire until it all burns, or the people force a political solution to the problem. 

I suggest solving the problem as there are tire piles of this size that have burned for over a year and cannot be extinguished. 

The smoke and toxins would have a massive impact on the island’s tourism, health, air, land and economy. 

Solving the problem is really the only viable option, and is by far the least expensive. 


John Deckard 


Tires continue to pile up at the George Town landfill. – PHOTO: CHRIS COURT

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