Schwalbe develops recycling system for used bike tyres

Schwalbe has started a pilot project to develop an innovative feedstock recycling system for used bicycle tyres.

To do this, the bicycle manufacturing specialist is cooperating with Pyrum Innovations AG and the Technische Hochschule Köln – University of Applied Sciences.

The project partners are carrying out research within the framework of a Central Innovation Programme for small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), in German referred to as ZIM, and supported by the Federal Ministry for Economic Affairs and Energy (BMWi), to develop a sustainable recycling system for used bicycle tyres.

The aim is to no longer incinerate tyres or send them to landfill – but to preserve the raw materials for recycling within a closed-loop economy system. Schwalbe said it is planning to use the secondary raw materials generated during the recycling process for the production of new products. The company is also in the process of establishing an extensive infrastructure to support the recycling loop.

All bicycle tubes Schwalbe produces are 100% recyclable. In 2015, a recovery system was initiated where used tubes are collected from bicycle dealers for recycling. The recycled material is reused during the production of new tubes without any loss of quality, said Schwalbe.

Schwalbe won the German Sustainability Award 2021 in the category ‘Pioneers’ for a closed-loop product life cycle and concerted recycling process design. The pilot project ties in with these efforts by developing a sustainable recycling system that is also suitable for used bicycle tyres.

Read more: ‘Buy now pay later’ services being exploited by fraudsters, warns Association of Cycle Traders

Earlier this year, Schwalbe UK welcomed Ed Trotman to its team, who joined Ben, Grant and Mark in the role of sales promoter. Covering the south of England, Trotman is providing expert technical and marketing support to shops along with training on the range of Schwalbe products.

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