Tire recycling South Africa

Used tires are a standard byproduct of car ownership. However, due to its unwieldy shape and non-biodegradable nature, disposal at the end of its life is a challenge. Old tires can’t simply be dumped in the local garbage truck for disposal because they pose an environmental hazard. While traditional methods of disposing of car tyres are stacking or illegally dumping, these only serve as a short-term solution and can be dangerous if caught in a fire.

Recycling is not only a long-term solution, but also an effective way to dispose of tyres, and is increasingly being valued in South Africa. In 2011, it was estimated that 60 million old tyres could be found on South African soil — more tyres than people.

In 2012, South Africa approved the REDISA Integrated Industrial Waste Tyre Management Programme (IIWTMP), under which tyre producers (including domestic manufacturers and importers) will pay the cost of recycling their products themselves.

A charge of r2.30 per kilogram is imposed on all new tyre rubber. Proceeds are used to set up the infrastructure for tire collection and degraded recovery and to pay for its administration. The scheme is managed by REDISA (South African Recycling and Economic Development Initiative), an independent agency.

On the collection and recycling side, REDISA has developed a “transporter” system for collecting tires and warehouses to store them. At the request of registered dealers, shippers collect used tires, take them to a warehouse, and are paid for the number of tires shipped. After coming out of the warehouse, used tires are taken to a processing center, where they are converted into new products or energy.

Tire recycling business opportunity

The current trend in the tire recycling industry is based on “end user/end product”. For example, fashion accessories, furniture, carpets, MATS, potted plants, garage fitness equipment, crumb rubber for playground products, railway crossing obstacles, rubber for protection and architectural paint applications, steel extraction, pyrolysis – the possibilities are endless.

Here are some examples of South African businesses which had successfully turn waste into worth over a span of few years:

Tyre recycling for small business owners

Entrepreneurs and small business owners could follow SoleRebel’s successful model and create a local footwear brand. SoleRebel’s business model not only brings new life to locally sourced and recycled tire materials, but also creates jobs and skills upgrading opportunities for local communities, with little reliance on advanced technology and huge amounts of capital.

Tyre recycling for larger enterprises

For large companies that can take advantage of economies of scale, they can take advantage of advanced technology and strategic partnerships with international companies. The Mathe Group is a leading example in projecting a return on its investment within two years of operation.

Larger businesses can explore options for recycling materials for the consumer and commercial markets. Some examples include crumb rubber for playground products, railway crossing boards and rubber powder for protection and building paint.

As South Africa continues to progress, its tyre recycling industry will play an increasingly important role in boosting its economic potential. Tyre recycling businesses need to actively engage with policy makers and local communities to ensure they survive and thrive in an ever-changing competitive environment.

Tire Recycling Plant For Sale

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How to start Tire recycling business plan

Explore your tire market and Follow the Tires

Find out where used tires are currently collected and where they are going. In addition to tire shops, there are many enterprises are high producers of used tires. Almost everyone with a fleet of vehicles passes tires, including trucking companies, taxi companies, buses and car rental companies. All of these entities can act as suppliers to your business.

Next, find potential customers for your finished product. Recycled tires can be used in many ways. The top three methods identified by the American Tire Manufacturers Association (USTMA) are tyre-derived fuels, used as ground rubber, and used by urban planners in civil engineering projects.

Once you understand where your tires are coming from and where they will end up, you can better shape your business to fill the needs that other companies already have. Many of the applications listed above for spent and shredded rubber require that it be processed into a specific shape or size.

Consider what equipment you will need

Negotiate with a supplier of tyre crushing equipment. At Harvest, we have a range of tire crushing machines for different purposes, depending on your specific business plan and needs. In addition to the actual shredder, you’ll need bins, screening equipment, conveyors, trucks and other storage and transportation equipment. All this equipment is an investment. When you factor in equipment and labor costs, make sure you’ll be able to cover those costs by selling your final product.


Are you in a good location for a tire recycling plant? Tyre recycling is messy, noisy and requires a sizeable chunk of land. Used tires and recycled rubber products take up space, as do the equipment that handles and moves them.

While most people would agree that recycling tires is a good idea, they don’t necessarily want to do it in their backyard. Land zoned for industrial use or in rural areas can be a good place to start looking. Ideally, the location you choose should have easy access to transport goods in and out. You will incur the cost of transporting materials and shipping them out of your factory. The shorter the distance your goods and products can travel, the better.

Environmental considerations

In addition to the environmental benefits when recycling tires, the recycling process itself can also have negative effects. It is a good idea to have proper insurance for an accident or injury. For example, a tire fire can produce toxic fumes.

Tire recycling businesses also need to obtain licenses and permits from various levels of government. The costs associated with these licenses can be high. Make sure you plan for those costs when you consider capital and start-up costs.

Tire Recycling Business in South Africa
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