Although governments around the world are introducing schemes and regulations to encourage recycling, the majority go to landfill which create spectacles like that seen on the outskirts of Kuwait City.
Here you find one of the few man-made constructions visible from space. Vast craters have been carved out of the landscape and filled with more than seven million tyres. Seen from orbit, the entire area is marked by ugly black patches.
Many tyres are burned for fuel or recycled into products such as carpet underlay or matting for playgrounds, but they don’t address the central issue.
The new product is rubber which sooner or later has to go somewhere. GDT’s process does something different, it breaks down 100 per cent of the tyres, with no emissions into highly valuable by products.
Steel can be sold back to car manufacturers at a high price and carbon has many potential uses in industry. But it’s the diesel which has really caught the eye.
The process is a closely guarded secret.
“It’s loosely based in pyrolysis, in that it is the application of heat to a substance in the absence of air,” Bailey explains.
“We achieve strict control over the atmospheric and temperature parameters so that the target of the process, the carbon atom, behaves in a controlled and predictable manner. If I told you any more…”
The technology was developed by Denis Randall, GDT’s Chief Technology officer. He had spent the past 35 years experimenting and had been using it to recycle agricultural waste.