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Mexico tackles used tyre troubles

Mexico – Once home to a towering pile of some 5 million used tyres, one of Mexico’s largest dump sites has undergone a clean-up such that the numbers have now been reduced to ‘less than a million’, according to the nation’s Ministry of Environment and Natural Resources (SEMARNAT).SEMARNAT estimates that 80% of the end-of-life tyres that end up in Mexico’s northern border cities originate from the USA, translating into some 600 000 used tyres per year. The government body entered into a partnership 10 years ago with various recycling companies in problem areas like Ciudad Juárez, Tijuana and Nuevo Laredo to tackle the growing problem of tyres swamping landfills.

‘We’re using one million tyres per year as an alternative fuel for our cement kilns,’ says Gustavo Nuñez of cement manufacturer Cementos de Chihuahua – one of the local companies to support the recycling mission. Many businesses are grinding down tyres to use in surfacing sports facilities, he adds.

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