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ResourceCo: Rubber really hitting the road

A new production facility will enable Tyrecycle to process over 40,000 tonnes worth of end-of-life tyres.

Tyrecycle’s line of crumb rubber products are helping to provide high-quality, sustainable options to the infrastructure sector. The opening of a new production facility is set to create further momentum.

Rubberised road products have come a long way since in Australia they were first introduced in the 1970’s. 

Produced using recycled rubber from end of life tyres, crumb rubber can be used as a substitute to virgin materials for road surfacing and spray sealing, as well as road construction.

Tyrecycle has been one of the pioneers in the recycled tyre space, developing, researching and funding projects and products to create greater quality mix designs. 

It’s parent company, ResourceCo, is another dominant figure in the recycled materials space, arguably Australia’s most diversified recycler. ResourceCo specialises in recycling construction and demolition waste into aggregates and base coarse paving products for use in civil construction and infrastructure projects; the re-manufacturing of commercial and industrial waste into a carbon emission combatting alternate fuel source; as well as an being one of the industry leaders in the reuse and recycling of soils.

Jason Campbell, National Sales Manager – Tyrecycle, says the work of everyone in ResourceCo is all centred around maximising the potential of all waste material. 

“While the waste streams that the ResourceCo Group handle are wide ranging, there’s a genuine unity and desire to ultimately deliver improved sustainability outcomes, particularly within the construction sector. We’re all constantly striving to produce the highest quality product possible. Doing so provides our customers with the best offering, and it rightly positions the recycling sector well as a credible alternative to virgin materials.” Campbell says.

The new $15 million facility will provide a significant boost for crumb rubber demand in Queensland, as well as the east coast.
The new $15 million facility will provide a significant boost for crumb rubber demand in Queensland, as well as the east coast.

Tyrecycle collects in the order of 20 million tyres annually, with a recycling rate of 99 per cent. On top of its highly decorated tyre derived fuel product, Tyrecycle is immensely proud of the high quality crumb rubber its now capable of producing across Australia. 

“We’re the leading tyre recycler in Australia. We only use the best equipment available for our crumb rubber line,” Campbell says.

In a major milestone for the companies, Tyrecycle recently launched its new $15 million tyre recycling plant in East Rockingham, Perth. The plant is expected to have the capacity to process over 40,000 tonnes of end of life tyres, including 7000 tonnes of crumb rubber production. This will increase capacity and access of crumb rubber for Western Australia.

“There isn’t another tyre recycling facility in the Southern Hemisphere that’s anywhere near the same scale, with the same level of technology,” Campbell says.

Campbell says it’s no coincidence that Tyrecycle’s enhanced rubber crumb capability comes at a time when infrastructure sustainability and associated carbon emissions are prevalent considerations. 

“Our independently commissioned research shows that using crumbed rubber in roads, in place of virgin material, represents greenhouse gas savings. Whether our rubber crumb is used in asphalt mixes or in spray seal, the sustainability of road infrastructure can benefit as a result of these applications,” Campbell says.

Backed by a government grant that formed part of the Recycling Modernisation Fund (national initiative to expand Australia’s capacity to sort, process and recycle waste), planning began in 2021 for the new facility.


 

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“The Western Australian Government has done a great job of supporting the growth of crumb rubber for road construction across the state. This year we expect that we’ll supply –and the demand will be – for at least 3000 tonnes. We expect that demand to grow between 9000 to 10,000 tonnes in the coming years,” Campbell says.

“Our facility right now has the capacity to produce 7000 tonnes, all from a locally based manufacturing plant. The fact that it’s based locally also means that it’s cheaper to transport and order for projects and infrastructure providers that are also based locally.”

The newly opened facility will also have a positive flow on effect for crumb rubber production along the eastern coast, regions where the uptake of sustainable and recycled materials is growing exponentially.

“We already have a strong base of recycling facilities in Victoria, one of which produces around 12,000 tonnes annually of crumb rubber. We also opened our Sydney facility about two years ago at Erskine Park that also produces 7000 tonnes annually too,” Campbell says. 

“Throughout our network of sites, we’ve managed to accumulate almost 30,000 tonnes of crumb rubber capacity in total. We want to have the capability to keep up with the uptake of this recycled material going into the roads sector.”

Tyrecycle and ResourceCo are helping to maximise the potential of recycled components for road construction.
Tyrecycle and ResourceCo are helping to maximise the potential of recycled components for road construction.

Campbell is confident that this near 30,000-tonne capacity will cater for the growing needs of the market for years to come.

“Such has been the uptake, I believe demand will drive our market share beyond current capacity constrains in the next two to three years. We’ll seek to increase our capacity again if that happens,” he says. 

“We’re always looking to work with our customers to continually improve our products so they can be optimised for use.”

Campbell says the future of crumb rubber is a bright one, with more research, development and production happening right now than ever before.

“It’s really exciting for us to now have an additional facility and potentially more in the medium- to long-term future. Being able to provide locally manufactured crumb rubber across three states, giving us and customers easy market access around the country, is a real positive,” he says.

“I’m really proud of the increased volume of crumb rubber that’s going into Australian roads. 

“I think it’s great to see the use of recycled materials in infrastructure projects generally, but particularly when we’re able to enhance the quality of the final product with something like crumb rubber. It’s great.” 

This article was originally published in the May edition of our magazine. To read the magazine, click here.

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