Tyre recycling with tyre bales for use in construction
trye bales, URRO block and the environment

Over 45 million tyres are discarded every year in the UK alone. Used tyres are notoriously problematic to dispose of because the thermally processed polymers are hard to break down. Left on open ground they are unsightly, and can result in uncontrolled fires that are extremly difficult to extinguish. Before tyre blocks came into use, tyres were sent to landfills, shredded or used as a fuel in specially constructed, high temperature furnaces. All of these options have their advantages and disadvantages but making tyre blocks ( URRO blocks or tyre bales) for the construction industry is the most cost effective, evironmentally friendly and energy efficient way to recycle tyres.

Tyre blocks use comparitively little energy to produce with either a 46hp diesel engine or an electric alternative. Not only does energy relate to expenditure on fuel it also correlates with the emissions produced from the process. In the case of tyre blocks the energy required to produce a single bale is very small when compared to similar figures:

Tyre block: 7.5 kWh/t
Pyrolysis: 370 kWh/t
Tyre Shred: 125 kWh/t

The use of tyre blocks has benefits that reflect positively on all four of the pillars of sustainability, as follows:

Environment:
Avoids landfill and/or fly-tipping of used tyres. The process of tyre baling uses a low emission diesel engine in a low energy process. As the plant is mobile it can be transported to stockpiles of tyres allowing such waste to be dealt with locally, satisfying the proximity principle.

Resource use:
Tyre blocks are usually used as a substitiute for primary aggregate, clay or hardcore. When substituted in this way there is no waste generated.

Economic:
The tyre baling industry has the potential to generate both employment and consequential wealth, not least as the process is relatively labour intensive compared to aggregate production. It is both a cost-effective use of high volumes of used tyres and also an excellent use of tyre arisings.

Social:
Traditional low density construction materials are expensive and some remote infrastructure may be uneconomic to construct and/or repair. This can have significant negative impacts on issues relating to safety, access to employment and quality of life in remote communities. The low density of the tyre blocks combined with their relatively low cost can mean that it may be possible to make economically viable repairs to infrastructure that may otherwise have remained unrepaired or even have been closed.