A recent report by IBISWorld, the world’s largest independent publisher of U.S. industry research, defines rubber and tire recycling in the United States as tire-derived fuel, tire-derived aggregate, crumb rubber and semi-processed rubber. The same source reports that the recycling industry operates facilities for separating, sorting and recycling used tires, rubber and rubber scrap and that the durability of the material makes rubber one of the most reused waste materials available.
Products offered by Columbus McKinnon Corporation (CM) “have processed more tires than all other competitors combined. CM systems process more than half a billion tires each year and CM offers the only recycling equipment designed and built solely for the purpose of processing scrap tires,” explained Kaytee Moran, a sales associate at CM.
Moran said that the company’s tire shredders are best known for their high production and ability to produce the highest-quality, clean-cut tire chips for tire derived aggregate and tire derived fuel applications (TDA/TDF).
CM builds a complete line of Stage 1 Tire Shredders, which are specifically designed to process whole tires down to several chip sizes. Products include a primary shredder for whole, light OTR, farm, super singles, tractor trailer, SUV and passenger car tires; a dual-speed shredder for whole tractor trailer, light truck, SUV and passenger car tires that is ideal for TDA/TDF applications; a dual-drive, single-speed shredder for whole SUV, or passenger car tires that can be used after the primary shredder; and a chip shredder for pre-shredded material or whole SUV and car tires.
CM builds Steel Reclaim screen systems, stage 2 steel removal systems and offers two sizes of Liberators. CM equipment systems are hard at work in hundreds of locations spanning 5 continents in more than 26 countries.
“The industry seems to be flexing back towards the alternative fuel markets and focusing a bit less on crumb rubber. TDF has once again become front and center as a solution to soaring fossil fuels costs involving coal, coke and diesel – currently being used in high heat furnaces, kilns and boilers in industries such as cement factories, steel mills, pulp and paper mills, electric companies and waste to energy facilities,” Moran said.
She added, “The other trend that is evolving for the processor is to take advantage of the growing demand for steel tire wire, which can be separated from the tire chip, thus creating two resale markets: clean, high grade steel and ‘wire free’ TDF, which is also a popular fuel alternative.”
“At Eldan Recycling, we own our production facilities – ensuring the quality of the product and the flexibility of the production program. For over 50 years, we’ve provided more than 800 plants and 7,000 single machines to the recycling industry worldwide. Our After-Sales Division offers planned service on existing and new equipment by our experienced service engineers and supervisors. The Eldan stock supply offers a large volume of spare and wear parts,” Ken Moulin, new equipment sales for Eldan, Inc., stated.
The company’s tire recycling plants and machinery processes most tire types (including super singles, earth mover tires and OTR tires) and systems offer “multi-size” line and modular options. Eldan plants produce up to 99.99 percent pure rubber granulate, and plant capacities range from 1,500 to 10,000 kg/production hour.
The Super Chopper product processes whole passenger car tires and commercial tires inclusive of super singles. The Multi-purpose Rasper product is for “first granulation” use and can process whole passenger car tires or pre-chopped car and truck tires. The Fine Granulator product provides rubber granulate output for those that desire a smaller-sized material. Eldan expertise is included in equipment for recycling of tires (and steel cleaning), cable, WEEE, SLF, MSW, aluminum/UBC, magnesium, refrigerators, plastic and industrial waste.
Moulin said, “Eldan is a big part of the expanding global recycling market. During recent months, we have sold several installations world-wide, expanding our own activities into new geographical areas such as the Middle East. Our main focus has always been, ‘Taking Care of Business.’ We always take care of our customers and offer them the best equipment and support possible. As a result, our customers know that we’ll be there for them – in financial good times but also in global recessions.”
According to Dave Fleming, industrial sales specialist at SSI Shredding Systems, Inc., “Tire shredding isn’t as easy as it looks. Tires are built to last and as a result, they can be very tough to shred. SSI Shredding Systems has more than 30 years of experience manufacturing tire shredders and we’ve focused our tire shredder development efforts on optimizing shredder service, reliability, ease-of-maintenance and performance.”
SSI offers a variety of solutions for processing car, truck, aircraft, agricultural and OTR/mining tires. “Our focus has been to develop reliable, robust and easy-to-work-on equipment that will reduce whole tires down to chunks ranging in size from long ‘strips’ to 1” or 2” (25 to 50mm) chips.
“SSI has systems that can process tires at rates ranging from 2 tons (200 car tires) to over 30 tons (3,000 car tires) per hour. Tires do not need to be debeaded in order to be shredded in our equipment,” said Fleming. He also noted that two of the most common challenges when entering the tire shredding business include equipment requirements and budget.
“It takes more machinery and costs more per ton to make smaller products. A single shredder will produce down to 2” minus TDF (40 to 50mm) chips. To make 1” (25mm) material, generally at least two shredders are required. In order to produce crumb rubber or rubber granules, more than one machine will be needed to accomplish the task. It’s a good idea to include a budget for consumable parts and material handling equipment in a business planning phase. Many people forget this and it can cost them in the end. Also, it is good to plan for at least six to nine months of operating capital in initial budgeting, because it may take that long to turn a profit as a start-up business, unless an established customer base is already in place,” Fleming stated.
He concluded, “If planned correctly, shredding tires can be a profitable business as well as a benefit to the environment. Recycling tires can help to eliminate large, dangerously flammable tire piles, which can burn for weeks and take years to clean up. Scrap tires left unattended can accumulate water. Once that happens, it creates an ideal habitat for mosquitoes, which studies have concluded is the foundation for the rapid spread of West Nile Virus and other insect-transmitted illnesses. Tire recycling helps reduce these risks.”