Every day over 620,000 Kg. of End of Life Tyres are collected and sent to recovery. These are the results achieved by Ecopneus during its first year of activity in ELTs management in Italy. From September 7th, 2011, the day in which the Ministerial Decree n. 82/2011 entered into force, Ecopneus managed 97.629 collection requests, received from over 27.000 End of Life Tyres generation points (tyre dealers, mechanic’s workshops, service stations) registered in Italy. Ecopneus is in fact responsible for all the operation of traceability, collection, treatment, and recovery of an ELTs’ share equal, in weight, to the number of tyres put on the replacement market by its member companies, about 80% of the Italian market.

Since September 7th, 2011 to September 7th, 2012, Ecopneus has been able to achieve significant results thanks also to the high qualification and specialization of the selected partner companies:

  • 227,000 tons of ELTs collected
  • 27,361 points of ELTs/waste generation served
  • 97,629 requests for collection completed
  • 92 collecting companies active on all domestic territory
  • 48 companies involved in the recovery of End of Life Tyres

Giovanni Corbetta, General Manager of Ecopneus, hardly hides his satisfaction for the results achieved: “227,000 tons of ELTs collected in a single year of activity represent a significant quantity, even more important if you consider that we have started from scratch with a system at national level to be built in only three months, able to provide all necessary aspects, from door-to-door collection to the complete recovery of each tyre. On December 31st, Ecopneus had already achieved and exceeded the targets set by law; this allows us to foresee that also our goal set for December 31st, 2012 – to collect and recover 80% of the quantities commercialized by our member conpanies – will be achieved”.

The efficient management system adopted by Ecopneus in 2011 has allowed, at the beginning of 2012, a reduction of the environmental fee associated to the purchase of any new tyre by more than 3%, with a significant advantage for end users. Resources deriving from the environmental fee can only be used to finance ELTs management system, and no profit can result from them. Infact, at least 30% of possible management surplus will have to be assigned to collection operations from old stocks, identified in agreement with the Ministry for the Environment and the Safeguard of Land and Sea, with the aim to remove the large number of illegal piles still existing in Italy.

This very days, an operation financed with 2011 management surplus is being carried out at Oristano industrial area, where over 3,000 End of Life Tyres tons lay abandoned in a storage. The intervention, completely charged to Ecopneus, will end by November 15th, 2012.

The development of applications for ELT derived rubber and the creation of a sound market for these secondary raw materials represent the key for the consolidation and the revival of an entire professional and industrial sector. Ecopneus aims to rebalance material recovery and energy recovery, given that Italy has historically shown a marked preference for the latter, through focused projects and actions aiming at proving performances validity of ELT-derived rubber, and at removing any wrong prejudice or perception about ELTs and their derived materials. Rubber obtained from End of Life Tyres recovery can indeed be profitably used to create sports surfaces, can be added as powder to bitumen for asphalts to obtain safer and less noisy roads, or can be used to create street furnitures such as kerbs, traffic islands, and pedestrian areas, and many other useful applications.