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Tackling the problem of used tyres in New Zealand

Every year New Zealand generates around five million used tyres. About 70 per cent of these are destined for landfill, stockpiles, illegal disposal or are unaccounted for.

In 2015, the Waste Minimisation Fund was targeted at applications that would help solve the end-of-life tyre problem in New Zealand. The nine projects to receive funding were announced by the Minister for the Environment. Together they receive $18.7 million from the Waste Minimisation Fund.

About the projects

Recipient Funding awarded What the funding will be used for
Fletcher Concrete and Infrastructure Limited (Golden Bay Cement) $13,591,055

To enable its cement kiln to use end-of-life tyres in concrete manufacture.  


The company will be able to process up to 25,000 tonnes of end-of-life tyres per year.

Waste Management New Zealand $3,851,005

To set up a nationwide collection and processing operation for end-of-life tyres.


At the end of the project Waste Management will be able to process up to 42,000 tonnes of end-of-life tyres per year. Processing centres will be set up in Auckland and Christchurch and a collection facility in Wellington.

Eco Rubber Industries Ltd $600,000

To install a refurbished oven in a new premise and upgrade its machinery.


The upgrades will allow Eco Rubber to process increased volumes of rubber granules from end-of-life tyres into rubber underlay. The rubber underlay will be used in artificial sports turf.

New Zealand Forest Research Institute (Scion) $182,550

To extrude useful rubber polymers from imported end-of-life tyres using devulcanisation.


Vulcanisation is a chemical process for converting rubber polymers into more durable materials like tyres. Devulcanisation is the undoing of this process.


To create acoustic building products from end-of-life tyre sourced crumb rubber.


This project aims to develop an on-shore recycled rubber manufacturing facility for specialty building products.


To create medium density fibreboards (MDF) utilising crumb rubber sourced from end-of-life tyres.


Crumb rubber sourced from end-of-life tyres will provide enhanced acoustic and vibration damping properties.

Nufuels Ltd $90,000

To produce end-of-life tyre derived fuel through pyrolysis (when tyres are decomposed at very high heat in the absence of oxygen) on a decentralised basis.


The funding will help Nufuels establish and commission its first commercial production site using pyrolysis in Foxton. It will be able to process 1.5 tonne of end-of-life tyres per day.

Toi Ohomai Institute of Technology $60,000

To explore the functionality of products made from end-of-life tyres as sustainable building products and determine toxicity, permeability and thermal conductivity.

Fulton Hogan Ltd $40,000

To test the feasibility of using tyre-derived rubber as binders in road construction.


Laboratory and field trials will determine if the rubber binders are stable in transportation and can be made with low odour.

Find out more

Minister's media release: Waste tyres to be used in cement manufacture (22 June 2017)

See Guidance developed by the Waikato Regional Council for local government on storing and stockpiling end of life tyres [Waikato Regional Council website]