Burning tyres in Puerto Rico

Burning tyres in Puerto Rico
Published: 21 August 2006

US environmental regulators have granted a permit to a division of Cemex to burn used tyres for fuel at a plant in the southern Puerto Rican city of Ponce, officials and the company said Thursday. The cement plant would be the first to burn tyres for fuel in the US island territory, which generates about 5 million used tyres annually and faces a shortage of space to dump its garbage.

Cemex de Puerto Rico would replace about 20 per cent of the imported coal it now uses to power the plant by incinerating up to 2 million tyres per year in its cement kiln, said Juan Colon, the company’s environmental manager. Before it could start burning the tyres, the company would be required to install new pollution filters to contain emissions, said Carl-Axel Soderberg, director of the regional office of the US Environmental Protection Agency, which granted the permit.