Waste  Management NZ Limited today welcomed Associate Minister, Hon. Eugenie  Sage and Auckland Mayor Phil Goff, to open its new tyre recycling  facility in Wiri, Auckland. The new facility is a significant step  forward in managing the environmental problem of end-of-life tyres.

With  support from the Ministry for the Environment’s Waste Minimisation  Fund, Waste Management has invested in innovative new tyre processing  equipment from the United States, expanding the processing capacity of  the company’s facility by 250%. This will lead to the shredding of  30,000 tonnes per annum, or three million car tyres.

Some  60,000 tonnes of tyre waste is generated annually in New Zealand from  4.2 million cars and trucks, and as they do not decompose, end-of-life  tyres are a critical issue for the environment.

Waste  Management’s processing facility provides a local solution for these  tyres, with the shredded material being supplied for re-use in  manufacturing as tyre derived fuel (TDF), reducing waste stockpiling and  turning a discarded resource into energy.

Tom  Nickels, Waste Management Managing Director, says he was delighted the  Minister could attend the opening and celebrate this positive step  forward for tyre recycling in New Zealand.

“Sustainability  is our core purpose at Waste Management. This facility will play a key  role in tackling a growing environmental problem which is a cause of  concern for many New Zealanders. Waste Management is proud to be making a  difference.

“The  Minister’s attendance at today’s opening is greatly appreciated and we  welcomed the opportunity to demonstrate our solution to this significant  environmental problem.

“The  Government’s support, coupled with our own investment, has created a  local solution for the re-use of end-of-life tyres, and we are pleased  to be turning waste into energy through the creation and supply of tyre  derived fuel.

“As  this country’s largest waste and environmental services company, we  appreciate the important role we can play in maximising the value of  waste streams. Now this includes waste tyres,” Nickels continues.

Tyres  have a very high calorific value that provides a beneficial source of  fuel for a range of purposes including powering cement kilns and power  plants.

Waste Management plans to open another tyre recycling facility in the South Island in late 2019.

Waste  Management plays an integral role in the sustainability of New  Zealand’s communities and economy. In addition to tyre recycling, the  company generates energy from the waste it collects in its modern  sustainable landfills and makes compost from green and food waste at its  Living Earth facilities. In 2016 Waste Management announced the  transition of the company’s light and heavy fleet to electric vehicles.