Latin American countries should worry about tire disposal as it poses environmental damage.
Millions of used tires are disposed every year. It creates a problematic as the large volume of production, their durability and components pose a threat to the environment. Their recycling has been gaining popularity in recent years as there are many possible uses for their materials.
We analyze what various Latin American countries are doing in terms of tire recycling:
Every year 20-30 million tires are disposed in the country, 4 million of which are disposed only in Bogota. Most of them remain as trash, other are stored and some are burned, damaging air quality in the region.
In the capital, the Environment Secretary created a program that makes companies who sell tires responsible of their recollection and treatment, in a national level the Environment Ministry has proposed incentives to cement factories who use rubber residues in their asphalt mixture.
Unfortunately these measures are not very effective. Instead University of the Andes professor and head of an investigation group, Juan Carlos Moreno proposes the production of activated carbon.
Activated carbon is a porous material that's helpful in absorbing organic and inorganic contaminant in rivers and purifying water.
In Mexico more than 40 million tires are disposed every year and only 12% are being recycled. Victor Pagaza, General Director of Recubrimientos Ecologicos y Reciclados owns a patent for a waterproofing material for roofs made out of recycled rubber.
In the last 8 years his company has recycled between 5-6 million tires. He says there is a lack of regulation and government support. "There should be help for those who develop recycled products" in order to make the industry profitable and popular.
About 10 thousand tonnes of tires are thrown away each year and only 4% are properly disposed. The National Environment Center (Dinama) along with the Center of Tire Wholesalers of Uruguay (Ceconeu) are working together in a national recycling plan.
Dinama makes all tire sellers take back all tires which have finished their useful life and be responsible for its disposal. The idea is for the material to be reused in asphalt mixtures, burnt to produce energy or exported for other uses such as artificial fields.
Since 2013 Ecuadorian Environment Ministry has implemented rules that make fabricants and importers responsible for their waste disposal, including tires. 81 companies are being regulated, representing 80% of the market.
In 2015 more than 942,000 tires were recovered and 68% were recycled. In the country there are 15 companies in charge of tire recycling and another 15 who specialize in retreading tires. Also, rubber dust is being used in asphalt mixtures as part of an ecologic road project.