The launch of a $20 million-plus recycling plant in Jandakot is at last offering a solution to one of mining industry’s lesser known environmental problems.
Family-owned Complete Tyre Solutions says its proposed facility will be the first in WA capable of recycling the huge tyres on the haul trucks doing the heavy lifting across the mining industry.
Up until now, the absence of suitable recycling equipment has meant that WA mining companies every year bury tens of thousands of tonnes of worn-out, so-called off-the-road tyres weighing up to 5 tonnes each, usually on mine sites.
“It’s an enormous problem, an environmental catastrophe,” CTS managing director Leigh Cometti said.
Construction of his company’s new plant gets under way on Monday, with commissioning targeted for July or August next year.
CTS Tyre Recycling will process 30,000 tonnes of tyres a year, not only from haul trucks, but cars and trucks, repurposing them into crumb rubber for use in roads, flooring and matting, and into resusable textile and tensile steel wire.
The plant will deploy specialised Danish and Italian equipment not before seen in WA, including a giant shredder that will break the tyres down into more manageable pieces.
The fledgling business is supported by $3m of State and federal funding, as well as by new naional regulations banning the export of whole-baled tyres for disposal overseas.
The new regime came into effect in December and is aimed at reducing the burden on the often undeveloped nations who accept the waste.
WA alone had exported about 7000 tonnes of tyres a year before the ban.
CTS said it was also looking at investing in a second plant at Port Hedland, preferably in partnership with an indigenous group, to shred OTR tyres collected from Pilbara mine sites for transportation to Jandakot.