Michelin tyres has sold its share in a UK tyres recycling business which provides waste-derived fuel for the cement industry.
The tyres manufacture joined forces with cement and aggregate producer Lafarge to launch Sapphire Energy Recovery in 2001 in a venture to provide a sustainable solution to the tyres disposal problem.
The inherent energy in tyres is used to provide heat as part of the cement making process, with the tyres steel properties absorbed into the cement the tyres are effectively fully consumed during the energy recycling process and there is no waste.
Michelin announced that the decision to move Sapphire to sole ownership of Lafarge was made once the business had successfully achieved its objective of developing a healthy and viable end-of-life process for used tyres.
The EU Landfill Directive banned the disposal of whole tyres to landfill from July 2003 and shredded tyres from July 2006, meaning safe, alternative disposal methods had to be found for the 40 million-plus used tyres removed from vehicles in the UK every year.
Michelin Managing Direct, Jim Rickard: said: ‘Creating a viable end-of-life tyre recovery industry was an important priority for our business.
‘We’re really proud that we have achieved that in what has been a healthy relationship with Lafarge, and we have no doubt that we will continue to work with Sapphire as one of its customers in the future.’