ZAGREB, 11 April (Hina) – Croatia has one of the best waste tyre recycling systems in Europe, with more than 90% of used tyres being used for materials recovery, which is above the national target of 80%, the Environmental Protection and Energy Efficiency Fund has said.
Using tyres for materials recovery results in the production of rubber granulate, textile, steel and rubber chips. They are used to make products such as rubber flooring for playgrounds, paths, walkways and running tracks.
Rubber granulate is used in bitumen mixtures for asphalt and in making artificial turf for soccer fields, floor coverings, wheels for dumpsters and garbage cans.
The steel obtained from tyres is a raw material used in steelworks and the textile is used by cement factories for energy recovery. Waste tyres are also an excellent source of energy and can be used to make fuel with excellent properties.
The business and research sectors have taken a step further with the aim of using recycled rubber floor coverings for a cleaner environment.
The Varaћdin-based Faculty of Geotechnical Engineering and Gumiimpex, the only Croatian company that uses waste tyres for materials recovery, have been implementing a research project called “Recycled rubber and solar photocatalysis: Ecological innovation for passive air and health protection”.
The project, funded by the EU, is aimed at designing a product that will use natural processes – solar energy and photocatalysts – to eliminate organic air pollutants in urban areas.
A professor at the Faculty of Geotechnical Engineering, Aleksandra Anić Vučinić, notes that using recycled rubber floor coverings in the future would make the environment cleaner.
There are three tyre recycling companies in Croatia – Gumiimpex – GRP, which uses waste tyres for materials recovery, and the cement factories Holcim Croatia from Koromačno and Nexe from Naљice, which use tyres for energy recovery.
The system of waste tyre recycling in Croatia was established in 2006, and it has been organised by the Environmental Protection and Energy Efficiency Fund.
In 2020, 28,480 tonnes of tyres were put on the Croatian market. As much as 88% (25,066 tonnes) of waste tyres were collected, and of that amount, 83% was processed, with 96% of the processed tyres having been used for materials recovery and only 4% for energy recovery.