Over 400 tonnes of waste tyres went up in smoke in a recent fire in Scotland, highlighting the need to find responsible ways for disposing of unwanted tyres. The blaze lasted for more than 24 hours, and thick black smoke filled the Scottish skies. It produced sufficient heat to destroy nearby train power lines, resulting in the disruption of train services between Lanark and Cumbernauld.
The major concern for authorities in Strathclyde was the damage that the smoke might cause both to local people and the environment Smoke from a tyre fire contains lead, sulphur, zinc and potentially harmful dioxins. A spokesperson for the Scottish Environmental Protection Agency stated that, had all the tyres burnt 1,200 tonnes of CO2 would have been produced. That would be similar to the emissions produced by a return flight from England to Australia.
The potential for pollution by the ever-growing mountain of unwanted tyre waste is something that is currently of great concern to manufactures, consumers and the government. The Scottish blaze is just the most recent manifestation of this huge environmental issue.