SIGNUS converts over 200,000 tonnes of used tyres collected in spain into new materials

SIGNUS transformó más de 200.000 toneladas de neumáticos recogidas en España en nuevos materiales

SIGNUS has just published its Annual Report for the year 2021, which is available on its website.

In 2021, SIGNUS managed 200,286 tonnes of end-of-life tyres, converting them into new products for use in different applications. 11.4% of the tyres collected were prepared for reuse (second-use or rethreaded tyres), 36.4% were sent for energy recovery and the remaining 52.3% were recycled at different processing plants in Spain and converted into products for different applications.

The main applications of the material obtained from end-of-life tyres in 2021 included: 28,318 tonnes of crumb rubber for use as infill to produce around 280 artificial turf football pitches, 20,767 tonnes for the construction of approximately 4,100 playgrounds and 1,674 tonnes of crumb rubber used in the construction of 160 kilometres of road.

In the introduction to the Report, Gabriel Leal, Director General of SIGNUS highlights the fact that 2021 was a year of recovery in the Spanish replacement market, with 17.3% more tyres being managed than in the previous year. The Director General of SIGNUS also points out that tyres with diameters of over 1,400 mm were managed for the first time in 2021. This recently became compulsory under the provisions of the Royal Decree governing the management of end-of-life tyres. Also of note is the fact that SIGNUS collects ELTs from practically all workshops offering tyre-changing services in Spain, with a total of 25,820 workshops being served in 2021.

Last year, SIGNUS continued to work on adding value to the materials from tyre recycling, as it has been doing since commencing operations in 2006. The organisation works hand in hand with private companies, universities and technology centres with the aim of guaranteeing the future of recycling and maximising the value of all end-of-life tyre components.

Much of the work and research carried out in 2021 was related to the proposed restriction on the use of intentionally added microplastics, which would prohibit the use of crumb rubber as infill in artificial turf pitches. In this respect, SIGNUS has undertaken a project to monitor an artificial turf football pitch to evaluate the effectiveness of containment measures designed to prevent the release of these particles into the environment. In parallel, there have been developments in the use of recycled rubber in different products such as brake pads and concrete acoustic wall panels, as well as studies related to the use of crumb rubber in roads, which is amongst the current recycling applications whose enormous potential has yet to be fully exploited.