2010-10-14

Tire recycling becoming driving force in Brazil

Since 1999, when companies started collecting unserviceable tires, more than 1.3 million tons of them – equivalent to 270 million units – have been collected and recycled. (Courtesy of Ivson/Reciclanip)

Since 1999, when companies started collecting unserviceable tires, more than 1.3 million tons of them – equivalent to 270 million units – have been collected and recycled. (Courtesy of Ivson/Reciclanip)

By Débora Bressan Mühlbeier for Infosurhoy.com—14/10/2010

CURITIBA, Brazil – Tires do more than make automobiles run.

They can be transformed into asphalt, shoes, ducts, floors, carpets – and even alternative fuel.

But when they’re not recycled, they take up to 150 years to decompose.

Brazil is ranked second in the world regarding concern for sustainable consumption, trailing India, according to the 2010 Greendex report by the National Geographic Society and the international polling firm GlobeScan.

The high ranking is not only a result of consumers’ increased awareness in Brazil, but also of a series of rules that manufacturers, including those in the tire industry, must follow.

In 1999, the National Commission of the Environment (CONAMA) determined tire manufacturers and importers were mainly responsible for the environmentally friendly collection and disposition of discarded, non-reusable tires.

The regulation has been changed numerous times in the past 11 years, but the basic rule has remained the same: recycling tires is mandatory by law and the manufacturers’ responsibility, according to CONAMA Resolution 416 of 2009.

Manufacturers Bridgestone, Firestone, Goodyear, Michelin and Pirelli in 2007 created Reciclanip, an arm of the National Association of Pneumatic Manufacturers, so they would be compliant.

Reciclanip is responsible for the collection, transport and final destination of tires.

“We work through partnerships, mostly with city halls,” says César Faccio, Reciclanip’s executive in charge. “The city halls grant plots of ground, which meet specific safety and hygiene rules, and the places are used for gathering and storing tires coming from tire repair shops, resellers and even citizens.”

Reciclanip has more than 460 collection points nationwide.

In 2009, 250,000 unserviceable tires were collected.

During the first semester of this year, 146,000 tons of tires had been received.

“The industries already have invested US$114 million in the project [from 1999 to July, 2010],” Faccio says.

Companies’ efforts to comply with the law are monitored by the government.

The Solid Waste National Policy, which was sanctioned by President Luiz Inácio Lula da Silva on Aug. 2, also has reinforced the responsibility of tire manufacturers regarding tire recycling.

The legislation establishes a set of rules for solid waste management.

Paraná setting the standard

Nearly 24,000 tons of tires annually need to be removed from vehicles in the southern state of Paraná.

In 2009, 25,000 tons were collected, according to Laerty Dudas, Solid Waste coordinator at the state’s Secretariat of Environment (SEMA).

Thanks to a partnership started seven years ago between the state government and the industries, Paraná is considered a “clean state.”

“But, of course, this is the kind of thing we can’t eliminate – we have to keep fighting it,” Dudas says. “And this fight is endless.”

Paraná’s experience – and success – in tire recycling resulted from the cooperation between the public and private sectors, Dudas says.

“We don’t want the manufacturer to be the only responsible party,” Dudas says. “We want the responsibility to be shared with resellers, dealerships, tire repair shops and whoever else works with tires.”

So as not to violate the law, the manufacturers decided to set up group collection tents and share the cost of the rental.

“In Maringá, in the state’s northern region, the sharing [of the rental] costs R$9 [US$5.17] for each company,” Dudas says. “Imagine what [a mere] R$9 means for a big dealer.”

In Paraná, most of the tires sent to recycling are transformed into the alternative fuel that substitutes for coal. Giant Votorantim Group’s cement facility in the city of Rio Branco do Sul and state-owned Petrobras’ energy power plant in the city of São Mateus do Sul are the main consumers of this type of fuel.

Secondhand tires can’t be imported

CONAMA Resolution 23 of 1996, which prohibits the importation of used tires, caused more controversy nationally than any law regarding tire disposal.

CONAMA’s reason for the law?

Brazil has enough internal tire production, therefore importing used ones would generate unnecessary damage to the environment.

The resolution has caused companies, such as Paraná-based BS Colway, to change their businesses.

Francisco Simeão, BS Colway’s director, says he ended the company’s business in importing secondhand tires in 2007, causing him to fire and indemnify 1,200 employees. The machinery used to recover the imported secondhand tires couldn’t even be sold, as the market had shrunk following CONAMA’s resolution.

“The social harm was even bigger, with the loss of jobs in Brazil and the reduction of investments in social programs that had been carried out by our company,” Simeão says.

BS Colway now imports new tires and is erasing its financial losses.

But its recycling rates are much lower compared to when BS Colway imported used tires.

“Today the [cost of] collecting and disposing of unserviceable tires is very small compared to the times when we imported used tires,” Simeão says.

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21 Comments

  • carlos | 2014-06-15

    Hello. I am interested. Can you give me information about how I get complete blueprints of the machines and the cost? Thank you.

  • wagner tadeu antonio | 2014-04-02

    Good afternoon. Do you only purchase tires and accept them as donations? If you purchase them, I can send 100 small and large tires by Boeing 737-800 every 15 days. Each of the large tires weighs 100kg and the small ones weigh 25kg.

  • Horacio Simaldone | 2014-02-14

    Is it possible to visit a treatment plant? I am Chilean and I need information.

  • monica maria machado de medeiros | 2013-09-07

    I would like to know how to create an association for recycling tires.

  • marcelo | 2013-03-23

    hello friends, I'm from inner São Paulo state and am very interested in opening a tire recycling company I have full support from the municipality and would like to get more information on machinery, incentives, etc. thanks, Marcelo

  • fernando | 2013-03-16

    I would like to set up a recycling industry in Cuiabá-MT, I have an area of 11,000 square meters, I would like a partnership, thank you

  • Cátia | 2013-02-14

    I’d like to know places where they collect tires please tell me thanks

  • Alexandro | 2013-01-09

    I’d like to know if this company or any other collects tires from cities, NGOs, tire repairs, etc.

  • antonio i werner | 2012-11-20

    I’d like to know if you have any seller of recycling machines. Thanks in advance for the attention

  • MAX | 2012-11-05

    HELLO EVERYBODY. I LIVE IN GOVERNADOR VALADARES-MG. I AM INTENDING TO OPEN A TIRE RECYCLING COMPANY. I WONDER IF YOU CAN ASSIST ME WITH ALL POSSIBLE INFORMATION ABOUT THIS BUSINESS: WORKFORCE TO BE USED; MARKET ACCEPTANCE; WHO BUYS THE END RAW MATERIAL, ANYWAY, WHAT MACHINERY TO USE; MINIMAL PHYSICAL AREA SIZE FOR IMPLEMENTING THE INDUSTRY. I ALSO WONDER IF THERE ARE INCENTIVES AND PUBLIC FUNDING AND WHAT ARE THE ADVANTAGES OF THIS BUSINESS. I’M LOOKING FORWARD TO HEAR FROM YOU AND THANK YOU IN ADVANCE. MAX DAMAZIO

  • Nibia Barrios | 2012-10-07

    I live in Uruguay and I would like to know if you could give me a contact number to any factory that buys tires in the State of Rio Grande, which is the closest place we have to the city I am in, Chuy in the department of Rocha. I am grateful to you for sending me information to my email address. Regards, sincerely, Nibia.

  • myrna okumura | 2012-09-26

    HELLO EVERYBODY. I LIVE IN LONDRINA, PARANÁ STATE. I WANT TO OPEN A TIRE RECYCLING COMPANY. I WONDER IF YOU CAN ASSIST ME WITH ALL POSSIBLE INFORMATION ABOUT THIS BUSINESS: WORKFORCE TO BE USED; MARKET ACCEPTANCE; WHO BUYS THE RESULTING RAW MATERIAL, ANYWAY, WHAT MACHINERY TO USE; MINIMAL PHYSICAL AREA SIZE FOR INSTALLING THE INDUSTRY. ADVANTAGES OF THIS BUSINESS. I'M WAITING YOUR REPLY AND THANK YOU IN ADVANCE.

  • noemi gutierrez | 2012-09-25

    I am interested in importing hubcaps and/or used tires from Brazil, can you contact me I want to find out ways to buy and import into Mexico. Regards

  • Marcelo Rios Leite | 2012-08-28

    The concern about the waste we produce must be increasingly associated to the treatment of such waste, as a defender of life and consequently the environment, since I'm part of it, I congratulate all those involved in the difficult task of fighting the impacts launched on mother NATURE that is caused by our needs and often in irrational ways. Well, I work in a car rental company and being concerned with the disposal of old tires, without losing financial focus, I’m looking for someone who buys these tires for recycling in Salvador, state of Bahia, or nearby. Thanks for providing this channel, Marcelo Rios.

  • Jânio Pereira de Morais | 2012-08-23

    HELLO EVERYBODY. I LIVE IN PORTO VELHO-RONDÔNIA STATE. I'M PLANNING TO OPEN A TIRE RECYCLING COMPANY. I WONDER IF YOU CAN ASSIST ME WITH ALL POSSIBLE INFORMATION ABOUT THIS BUSINESS: MANPOWER TO BE USED; MARKET ACCEPTANCE; WHO BUYS THE FINAL RAW MATERIAL, ANYWAY, WHAT MACHINERY TO USE; MINIMUM PHYSICAL AREA SIZE FOR INSTALLING THE INDUSTRY. ADVANTAGES OF THIS BUSINESS. I'M WAITING AND THANK YOU IN ADVANCE. A HUG. YOURS. JÂNIO MORAIS

  • bruna | 2012-04-14

    good morning! I'm doing a tire recycling work and would like some suggestions of things I could list on it and how and where they recycle.

  • JOEL PAULO | 2011-11-23

    HI GUYS. I WANT TO START A TIRE RECYCLING COMPANY. I’D LIKE TO KNOW IF YOU COULD GIVE ME FURTHER INFORMATION ABOUT THIS BUSINESS, SUCH AS WHO BUYS THE END MATERIAL, AS WELL AS WHICH MACHINERY SHOULD BE USED. REGARDS JOEL

  • Markus Vidal Damasceno | 2011-10-06

    Good morning! I’d like to know more about the recycling of tires. Are there companies in the city of Porto Alegre that recycle tires? I am trying to get more information and am thinking about acquiring equipment to establish a recycling company!!

  • RONALDO JOAO LORO | 2011-08-04

    Good afternoon I’d like to know which companies collect and ultimately recycle cars and truck tires. abr

  • joy | 2011-04-11

    joy

  • Luis henrique | 2011-01-24

    I work with tires, I’m authorized by IAP, MEIO AMBIENTE, IBAMA from Paraná state to collect tires for their final destination, but I can’t get clearance from ANIP for that, what should I do to get ANIP clearance?