As long as we continue to use cars with so much enthusiasm, we will have hundreds of thousands of tons of tires to be disposed of, to be precise 380,000 tons, in Italy alone. We mean those that are now irrecoverable, which we can no longer sell even as used, perhaps to developing countries, and cannot even be rebuilt. One wonders how dispose of the tires of this type because there are so many and it is not always clear who gets to deal with them and at what cost.
How to dispose of tires at the tire dealer
The law changed in 2011 and since then it has become even more confusing than before. Then it was up to the tire specialists I dispose of the tires. As for the cost, it was passed on to the selling price, so in a sense we paid for this process.
Today, and for 8 years now, things are different, the tires to be disposed of they weigh on us when we buy them. It is not a choice that those who sell us tires can make, it is obliged by the Ministerial Decree No. 82 of 11 April 2011. So when we buy the new car tires we already carry on paying for the process which will then be used to dispose of them, when we do not know what else to do with them.
When we buy tires from the tire dealer, we pay him ELT because he in turn paid it to some wholesaler, who paid it to the production company, who paid it to a consortium.
PFU: what it means
PFU stands for tires out of use but with this initials of intent usually the regulation for their management. When in 2011 it was decided to get paid in advance for the disposal of what we are buying, a conscious choice was made to try to take responsibility immediately and limit our consumption. The objective of this decree was to achieve the reduction of waste production. Even today, however, it creates confusion, it often happens that it is not clear what we are paying to whom, even if 8 years have passed.
How to dispose of tires: tips
We try to give some more useful information for those who are in the process of replace your tires. If we are turning to a tire dealer to get rid of them and we happen to reject them, it is good to know that he cannot do it. It is required by law to join a consortium, free of charge, which then takes care of recovering the tires we have entrusted to tire specialists at no cost and with high regularity. This applies to those of motor vehicles, not those of bicycles or airplanes and the consortium cannot absolutely refuse to take them away, nor must it go to investigate the origin of the ELTs. If the consortium allows itself to ask the tire dealer for a payment for the collection of ELTs, it is doing so in a completely illegal way.
In this mechanism of responsibility and gratuitousness, there is also a loading and unloading register (part of the "Control system of the waste traceability " - Sistri) in which the quantity of tires collected by the tire dealer that will be delivered to the consortium is recorded. It is a way to track them but do not count, there are no surpluses, the consortium must collect all ELT that the tire dealer has, freeing him.
In case it occurs to you to take your tires out of use in theecological islandhere, don't do it, because that's not where they need to be disposed of.
How to recycle tires
If we can't fix e recover a tire, so that it can continue to do its job, and it is not even so decent anymore that it can be sold or given to those who need it, we must declare it out of use. It no longer has the features that should make it safe. In this case it ends up in special plants where the rubber of which it is made can be recovered. It's not about normal rubber but of a mix of very high quality polymers, with particular chemical-physical characteristics. The good thing is that even when we go to recycle this rubber, they remain.
When ELT is recycled they manage to obtain materials such as rubber, steel and textile fibers, that you can use to create other objects of various types. However, there is an important alternative. The PFI has a very strong calorific value, equal to that of coal, but it is much less polluting, so we can feed it to special plants that are able to obtain energy from it.
When the ELT arrives in the recycling plants, it undergoes mechanical grinding at room temperature which transforms it into a mass of smaller and smaller fragments. The goal is to be able to separate rubber, steel and textile fiber which are the three components of the tire.
And then? With these materials we can build a bit of everything, we find them used in the field of fashion as in those of packaging, and in construction because they have soundproofing and anti-vibration properties. Think, for example, of playground floors, soccer fields, multipurpose sports floors. For the same reasons, we can find recycled ELTs also used in the road and infrastructure sector, in cycle paths, street furniture and elements for road safety. In the field of fashion, we find accessories and jewels with “ex tires”.