Interview with Marco Zoccarato, CEO of Forrec

The Italian magazine "RECOVER" has interviewed Marco Zoccarato - CEO of Forrec - about the treatment of tires, which has always been a difficult waste to treat and that, if left in landfills, can become a source of diseases due to stagnation of water and can be very dangerous in case of fire.

Tyre disposal is a complex subject. The ELT recovery market in Italy is regulated by the Consortia, but how does it work in other countries?

Data updated to 2017 certify that 3,424,500 tons of end-of-life tyres were produced, an increase of 4% compared to 2016. To date, estimates speak of over 3.6 million ELTs. The quantity is impressive, and there are still only a few species in countries where consumption is high, and every year the problem arises of how to dispose of these quantities. Landfill is obviously not an option.

We need applications that can absorb very large quantities of this material as recycling rates are still too low today. In Italy, even with the presence of consortia, the issue is not 100% solved, some countries are aligned with ours and rely on consortia for the management of tires, in others, however, a strategy is only at the beginning of its definition.

What are the steps that the end-of-life tyre must undergo for its proper recycling?

The channels that have historically been relied on are the production of shredded and powdered tyres of different sizes for the most varied applications: from asphalt to impact resistant pavements, from street furniture to components with rubber tyres. The larger sizes, on the other hand, are used as an alternative fuel for energy production (cement works or waste-to-energy plants). Is it a process that can be standardised or adapted to individual customer requirements?

The process has been standardised precisely because the market demand requires a product that must necessarily undergo certain mechanical processes. Over time we notice that the offer of the granule (0.8-4 mm) is much higher than the demand, so especially in some specific geographical areas, WTE (waste to energy) projects are starting aimed at the use of a shredded tyre of 50x50 mm size and with very specific characteristics in terms of size and type of cut.

During the process, which stage is more difficult?

Speaking of WTE, the most delicate phase is the primary shredding for the production of TDF (tyre derived fuel), in fact this treatment requires that the output product is of well-defined dimensions and with the characteristic of a clean cut and not frayed.

You have recently designed a new primary shredder specifically for ELTs. What are the characteristics of this new machine?

The TX1600 shredder has been created with the aim of satisfying specific market requirements, without neglecting productivity, which must never fall below 5 tons per hour for the treatment to be economically sustainable. The innovative and main feature of the shredder is the system of blades, designed to meet the above mentioned characteristics of the output material in terms of production and net cut with particular attention to operating costs, the blades are in fact easily interchangeable. Low speed and high torque guarantee maximum performances with low consumption.

What is the last perfected system for the treatment of ELT that you have supplied?

We are responding to our customers' requests with this new technology that has already been applied to a plant supplied in the Arab Emirates. The system does not only include the shredder, but a complete line of belts and screen. The same technology will also be replicated in Europe, with two outstanding orders and in Turkey with a ready-to-define agreement.

Forrec not only treats ELT but is able to offer single machines or complete plants for every kind of waste. What were the last "challenges" you were called to?

Surely the most complex challenge is the treatment of refrigerators: 2 large orders in France, 1 in Ukraine and 1 in the Kazakhstan (at the design stage) have requested a deep preparation and know-how in this sector, above all because of the need to meet (in Europe) the stringent regulations related to the treatment and recovery of gas contained in the refrigerator with a particular attention to safety.

The quality of Forrec products is Italian but how are you organized to assist your customers all over the world?

Forrec has a spare parts warehouse of about 2000 m2 with which we are able to cover 95% of requests in a very short time supported by an increasingly effective network of transport (also express) that allows us to reach even the most far areas in a short time.

The areas that are instead covered by our dealers are easier and quicker to manage, but generally we suggest to our customers the purchase of first need spare parts, consumables or critical parts to avoid downtime and loss of production.

Discover more about Forrec systems for tire treatment.