APART FROM making handy crash barriers on racing circuits, old tyres can be used much more constructively in a whole range of civil engineering applications, a new guidance document reveals.
The civil engineering application of tyres, published last month, sets out to bring the versatility of old tyres to the attention of clients, designers and contractors.
Transport consultant TRL and the European Tyre Recycling Association produced the document, funded by the ICE and waste services contractor Biffa through the Landfill Tax Credit Scheme.
The guide outlines the properties of tyres and their use in artificial reefs, asphalt, concrete and other building products. They can also be used as lightweight fill, soil reinforcement and for thermal insulation.
Old tyres are cheap, durable and resistant to a wide variety of chemicals and have been used across the world, the document says.
Europe has been slow to realise their potential, but it is stepping up a gear as the new European Union Landfill Directive comes into force.
After 2006 the directive will ban landfilling of tyres.
The UK produces 435,000t of scrap rubber tyres every year.
They are currently defined as a waste product and handling used tyres therefore requires a waste management license.
Work is under way to remove some of the administrative hurdles associated with tyre recycling.
To obtain a free copy of the document visit www. viridis.co.uk or www. trl.co.uk.