WM New Zealand 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, WM New Zealand 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.

WM New Zealand'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.vThis 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.