Towards a Solution to Used Tires in Colombia

Even when a legislation that regulates the handling of used tires already exists, the problem with this waste in different cities of Colombia has been visually clear. While Resolution 1457 of 2010 of the Ministry of the Environment establishes requirements for tire producers to implement selective collection systems and management of used tires, Resolution 6981 of 2011 of the Ministry of Environment and Ministry of Mobility of Bogota encourages the use of rubber grain in the asphalt applied to constructions in the capital district. However, these initiatives have not managed to create the demand necessary for tire collection or sufficient continence from users in order to avoid that they end up in the public spaces of our cities.

Recently the government created a three main purpose action plan. First: to increase the percentage of retreated tires, which currently is 23%, and which would be lengthening the useful life of the tires. Second: Increase demand for recycled rubber grain for asphalt mixtures for national, 4G and urban roads. Third: Raising consumer awareness of the importance of good tire use, post-consumption programs and alternative use.

While a resolution is prepared by the Ministry of the Environment, in the new measures to manage used tires within the country, the government has announced initiatives to incentivize the use of recycled rubber grain for asphalt mixtures in tender proposals for the construction of the primary and secondary network, by means of which 100 points will be given to the bidders that include this material. It is also evaluating the use of rubber for energy use in industrial boilers and thermal power plants.

It is hoped that with these steps the demand for recycling of used tires is increased within the country and thus create a sustainable system for tire management in which the life cycle of these within Colombia is more controlled.

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