Treatment and disposal of tyres: Two EU approaches. A review

Waste Manag. 2015 Nov:45:152-60. doi: 10.1016/j.wasman.2015.04.018. Epub 2015 May 2.


The treatment and disposal of tyres from vehicles has long been of considerable environmental importance. The main problem lies in the mixed composition of the tyres. Studies have been undertaken to modify the structure of the tyres, especially with reference to the percentage of granulated rubber incorporated, in order to improve their performance, and also to reduce their environmental impact during normal functioning (noise, particulates, etc.) and facilitate recycling and final disposal. The aim of the present study is to review and compare how used tyres are treated and disposed of in two different EU countries. The first is Italy, which has been part of the European Union since its inception, and has important industrial traditions. The second is Romania, an emerging country which recently became part of the EU, and whose economic and industrial development has had a major boost in recent years, with a strong growth in waste production, together with consumption in urban areas. The occasion was useful to consider the situation concerning the evolution of the different aspects related to the management of the end-of-life tyres. In particular, the paper considers the properties of tyre waste and their potential reuse, the enhancement of end-of-life tires and the various types of recovery, such as the reconstruction of tyres and the material recovery. The aspects related to the energy recovery and the use of the life cycle analysis, as a tool to support the choices of the best management system, were also taken into consideration, not forgetting that an adequate end-of-life planning is important when developing a sustainable product, since it can affect considerably its overall life cycle.

Keywords: Energy recovery; Landfill; Recycling; Tyre; Waste-to-energy.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Automobiles
  • European Union
  • Italy
  • Recycling / methods*
  • Refuse Disposal
  • Romania
  • Rubber / analysis*
  • Waste Management / methods*
  • Waste Products / analysis*


  • Waste Products
  • Rubber