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Re: [GreenYes] Fw: QUERY: What to do with used tires? [Q fromBrazil]
Hi Marcelo,

Your inquiry regarding tires was posted to the Green Yes Listserve, of which I am a member.  I looked at waste tires in relation to work I did for the US EPA on hazardous waste combustion in cement kilns some years ago.  Based on this work, I concluded that disposal of whole waste tires (which are not considered hazardous waste) in cement kilns is actually a very good solution.  

The extremely high temperatures in the kiln, combined with long retention times in the burner, lead to very clean combustion, and nearly every region of the world has them.  Combustion in kilns does not generate the black smoke that one sees when tires are burned in open pits.  The metals found in the waste tires (either through steel belts or through additives to improve braking, wear, etc.) are mostly entrained in the cement clinker, and generally not released to the air.  

I do suspect that US kilns may have more air emissions controls than do Brazilian cement kilns, so you should carefully evaluate any likely increases in air emissions in the Brazilian setting.  I would guess these would not be significant, though.  Using waste tires for energy also displaces the use of fossil fuels to heat the kilns, an added benefit.

While reusing crumb rubber, setting up reefs, retreading, etc. are all nice uses of waste tires, they require so few tires as to be almost symbolic.  Energy recovery from tires is one of the few uses that can take up significant volumes of waste tires in a short period of time.  Depending on the supply and demand situation, kilns may have to be paid a bit to take each tire, or they may to get it.  In either case, the recovery of energy will likely make this outlet more economic than other solutions.

If you are faced with a health crisis with 20 people dying per month from mosquitoes breeding in waste tire piles, there would not likely be too much doubt that burning tires in kilns would lead to an overall reduction in health risks.

Hope this is helpful.

Doug Koplow

Doug Koplow
Earth Track, Inc.
2067 Massachusetts Avenue - 4th Floor
Cambridge, MA  02140
Tel:  617/661-4700
Fax: 617/354-0463

>>> "Bill Sheehan" <> 02/26/02 12:48PM >>>
----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Neil Tangri" <>
To: <>
Cc: "Bill Sheehan" <>
Sent: Tuesday, February 26, 2002 11:52 AM
Subject: QUERY: What to do with used tires?

As you know, tires that sit around accumulate water...which is a breeding
ground for mosquitoes...which can transmit deadly diseases. So we need some
urgent information on short-term solutions for used tires. Please respond
directly to Marcelo, and cc the list.


>From: "marcelo furtado" <>
>To: Neil Tangri <>
>Date: Thu, 21 Feb 2002 08:46:42 -0300
>Subject: Re: question on tyres and dengue
>Dear Neil,
>I am writing to you on a totaly separate matter. I was consulted by the 
>Civil Defence people about wat to do with used tyres. We have a 
>major crisis of Dengue in Sao Paulo and Rio and the main breeder is 
>used tyres. I manage to convince them not to burn or dump it but I 
>would need some references to the main problems and best solutions. 
>We already had over 20 deaths ina month period. So, it is a serious 
>health threat. I hope you can help me out with some info.
>All the best,
>Marcelo Furtado
>Greenpeace International Toxics Campaign
>Rua dos Pinheiros,240/21
>05422-000 Sao Paulo SP BRAZIL
>office: +55-11-30661165
>mobile: +55-11-91697954

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