Kuwait — As the Gulf countries tackle the waste problem that created one of the world’s largest tire graveyards, more than 42 million old vehicle tires dumped on Kuwait’s sandy beaches have begun to be recycled.
The huge dump site was just four miles from the outskirts of the residential area. Residents were plagued by regular fires that emitted harmful black smoke.
But this month, Kuwait, which wants to build 25,000 new homes on its premises, has moved all its tires to a new location in Alsalmi near the Saudi Arabian border where recycling efforts have begun.
At a factory run by recycling company EPSCO Global General Trading & Contracting Co., employees sort and shred scrap tires and push particles into rubber-colored floor tiles.
“Factorys are helping society by cleaning up old, discarded tires and turning them into consumer products,” said Alaa Hassan, EPSCO’s partner and CEO, in neighboring Gulf countries and Asia. He added that he also exports products.
The EPSCO plant, which went into operation in January 2021, can recycle up to 3 million tires annually, the company said.
Waste tires are a major environmental problem around the world due to their bulkiness and the chemicals that can be released.
Oil-rich Kuwait, an OPEC member with a population of about 4.5 million, owned about 2.4 million vehicles in 2019, up from 1.5 million in 2010, according to data from the Central Statistics Office Ireland. increase.
The government hopes that Alsalmi will become a hub for tire recycling and more plants are planned.
Al Khair Group plans to open a factory to burn more than half of all tires to a new site using up to 500 trucks a day and burn the tires in a process called pyrolysis, the CEO said. Hammoudal-Marri said.
Pyrolysis produces a type of oil that can be sold for use in industrial furnaces such as cement factories, and an ash called carbon black that can be used in a variety of industries.