Regional businesses take detailed operations to deal with rising ELTs
Brussels – The Persian Gulf States are stepping up efforts to address the growing problem of end-of-life tires (ELT) in countries in the region.
In Saudi Arabia, the Global Environmental Management Service (GEMS) is responsible for improving ELT collection, using “centralized collection hubs and sorting stations,” said managing director Abdullah Ahmed Alqurashi. .
Alqurashi, speaking at the October 18 meeting of the Tire & Rubber Committee of the International Recycling Industry Association (BIR), said Saudi Arabia produces 572,000 tonnes of ELT annually.
Of these, 58% are private cars, 15% are light commercial vehicles and 27% are heavy vehicles.
Most of the waste tires, which are expected to reach 2 million tons by 2050, are sent to landfills or dumped, the managing director stressed the importance of GEMS’ operations in the country.
“We are improving our mechanical shredding and investing in pyrolysis plants across the kingdom to have a fully embodied solution,” he added.
The UAE faces similar challenges, according to Gulf Rubber Co. (GRC) plant manager Zaid Bdour.
Showing “before and after” photos of landfills from the past decade, he emphasized the comprehensive removal of millions of tires across the country.
Bdour said GRC now has five facilities for milling, granulation and other products. A pyrolysis project has also been proposed but not yet established.
“A landfill tire was worth about $70 (€70) a tonne, granules about $325 a tonne and molding about $870 a ton, so recycling made business sense,” he says. said.
According to Bdour, one of the UAE’s major challenges is the volatility of used tire prices.
He explained that this was due to lucrative exports to Pakistan and India and “fierce” competition from imported tire products subsidized by the country of origin.
The session was also attended by Khaled Jamal Chaaroui, General Manager of EPSCO Global General Trading in Kuwait, which started operations at the landfill in 2016.
In five years, the company has cleared 7 million end-of-life tires and now stores 50 million ELTs at its Salmi yard in Kuwait.
According to BIR, the Persian Gulf region produces 880,000 tonnes of ELT annually, with Saudi Arabia accounting for 65% and the UAE for 19%.