The National Tyre Recycling scheme comes to your local bike shop!
We need to talk about tyres… what do we do with them when they’re worn out and perished?
In the UK, around half of local councils wont take rubber products meaning that as a country we send 44,000 tonnes of rubber to landfill each year. Facilities for recycling car tyres can’t process bicycle tyres because the machines can’t handle them or it isn’t cost effective. Some shops and home mechanics with the mindset of “surely there must be something we can do with these” accumulate large stockpiles which eventually need to be cleared. It really is a ‘black mark’ against a sport and pastime which is otherwise so green focused – the environmental and personal health benefits of cycling are well researched and widely known. Worn out metal components and bikes can be recycled to create new parts using techniques that have been around for many years – it’s just the tyres that we haven’t figured out what to do with.
There has long been a gap in the market for someone to develop a solution to this problem by recycling tyres in a cheap and easy way that makes it easy for cyclists to contribute to our environmental responsibilities.
Enter Velorim, a new company which has developed a bicycle tyre specific recycling programme which enables us to fully recycle tyres and inner-tubes. The process involves a few different stages. The first process is the ‘First Shred’ which allows steel to be recovered from wire-beaded tyres. The remaining material is then shredded a second time which allows cotton and other fibres to be recovered – some of this ‘crumb’ is then re-processed to produce commercial flooring products and equestrian surfaces. The remaining material is processed in a few different ways. Firstly the rubber can be de-vulcanised to create Velo-SBR™ or can go through a process called prolysis separation to brake down the tyres into oils and carbons. Complex! Inner-tubes are a little more simple – they simply get shredded and de-vulcanized to create Velo-Butylene™ and the brass valves are recycled.
Whats so great about the scheme is that the tyres are 100% recycled and the breakthroughs in processing old rubber has created two entirely new materials which can have a life in brand new products.
We’re delighted to be working with Velorim to ensure your tyres are recycled effectively to reduce environmental damage – as of January 2021 we are a ‘Velorim Centre’ meaning anyone can recycle their tyres with us!
What’s the catch?
There is a cost involved in operating this scheme. If you purchase a new set of tyres from us either as part of a service or to fit yourself, we will foot the bill for recycling your old tyre(s). We are aware that a lot of cyclists like to do their own mechanics so we have decided to offer the scheme to the wider cycling community. Home mechanics will be able to recycle their tyres and tubes for a cost of £1.00 per tyre and 50p per tube without having to make any other purchases at Bike4Health.
We’re accepting tyres from today so if you have an old pair at home drop them in for the small fee or if your current pair need replacing during your next service we’ll recycle them for free!