This company is turning old tires into paving bricks, floor tiles and even flip flops

Adriana Lima
By Adriana Lima 4 Min Read
origin 1Used tires at Freee Recycle ©AP Photo

A Nigerian company is giving old tires a second life by turning waste into bricks, floor tiles and even flip-flops.

“If you take a five- or 10-minute walk, I guarantee you will spot at least ten tires,” mentioned Ifedolapo Runsewe, CEO of Freee Recycle.

“Then you find them in storm drains, you find them on street corners where ideally they shouldn’t be,” he added.

According to a report by the Tire Industry Project, one billion end-of-life tires are produced globally yearly. An estimated 4 billion are presently in landfills and stockpiles all over the world. Freee Recycle goals to raised handle such waste.

The company’s hottest product is rubber flooring, which prices round 55 euros for a set of 40.

“Now we have solutions for insulation. We also have transportation flooring solutions,” mentioned Runsewe.

Their flip flops use old tires for the underside layer. The prime layer makes use of a polyurethane foam, which is able to degrade over time and is not dangerous to the atmosphere, based on the company.

Some recycled merchandise are barely dearer than their conventional counterparts. The company says this is as a result of longer shelf lifetime of the merchandise.

To reduce waste within the manufacturing course of, Freee Recycle says it makes use of superior supplies to create decorations within the facility.

“From waste to wealth”

Runsewe says she is involved concerning the “harmful impact” of discarded tires on the atmosphere and public well being.

“Over time, because tires are not biodegradable, they spend more time in our landfills… For new solid waste, we usually have to resort to burning, and burning will release CO2 emissions, as well as other greenhouse gases,” Runsewe mentioned.

“Also, among the tires we found find yourself in our drainages and in the course of the wet season, this contributes to flooding in some areas, particularly in massive cities like Lagos. And then there are additionally piles of spare tires on waste floor. Over time they gather water and this turns into a breeding floor for mosquitoes. And then there is an enormous surge within the unfold of malaria.”

The company says it has recycled greater than 400,000 tires into new merchandise out of greater than 600,000 tires recovered.

Freee Recycle merchandise can be found in main Nigerian cities, together with Lagos, Abuja and Port Harcourt.

“Many people have become more empowered on the factory floor. You can see how many people work there, earn their livelihood there, it’s a great thing,” mentioned Bolanle Emmanuel, southwestern Oyo state coordinator on the Nigerian Export Promotion Council.

“Before now, most of these tires that you see around, they deteriorate, and that’s a source of wealth, of waste to wealth,” Emmanuel mentioned.

Freee Recycle says it started operations in 2018 with about 4 staff.

The workforce has now expanded to incorporate greater than 150 on-site staff.

For extra on this story, watch the video within the media participant above.

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