Wednesday, 4 November 2009

Tyres' dual function

It's time to seriously consider using recycled tyres in engineering projects. On Monday I had the chance to meet with Dennis Scott at the Northern Tyre recycling centre, an Evanton-based outfit that takes tyres from across the region and compresses them (around a hundred forty at a time) into bales which can then be used in flood defences as well as foundations for roads, buildings, embankments and dams.

The recent flooding was a portent of things to come and Councils are going to have to become more adept and innovative at dealing with the problem. Using tyre bales which are produced at Evanton would be a way to help shore up flood defences and stabalise embankments which could slip in heavy rain.

What we have seen over the weekend and in recent months is unfortunately the future. Increased rains will lead to increases in flooding coupled with destabilasttion of cliffs and embankments. Erosion is going to be a real problem as the climate change era intensifies. That is why councils and other organisations need to heed this sustainable low tech solution.

From what I have seen in Evanton there is no doubt that this is a simple device which works. It also has the benefit of making use of old tyres, lessing the need for landfill and also reducing the amount of fly tipping.

Indeed this is already proven technology - as the road from Syre to Kinbrace proves. The tyres act as a foundation for the road making sure that it doesn't sink into the peat. There must be many miles of roads in the Highlands, Islands and Scotland which have that problem. So a simple solution such as recycled tyres is welcome.

I would encourage Highlands and Islands Councils, and others across Scotland, to seriously consider using recycled tyres in engineering projects.

"I was greatly encouraged by my meeting with Dennis, his enthusiasm and drive is making sure that the technology and ideas are spread far and wide. The enterprise has a dual function of making use of waste whilst providing good quality and long lasting materials to make a real difference to engineering projects that save cash and recycle unwanted tyres.

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