BusinessDay

FREEE Recycle, APM Terminals sign MOU to recycle waste tyres

FREEE Recycle Limited (FREEE), a recycling company that transforms waste tyres into reusable eco-friendly materials has signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with its partner APM Terminals, a port operating company, to recycle its waste tyres over the next five years into reusable rubber products.

The finished products include eco-friendly rubber tiles, mats, interlocking stones, kerbs, and marine fenders, among others. They can be used in residential and commercial environments such as playgrounds, offices, rooms, sports and event centers, warehouses, manufacturing floors, and car parks.

“The MOU between APM Terminals and FREEE Recycle Limited will allow both parties to demonstrate and solidify our commitment towards the Go Green Initiative. Tons of waste tyres are generated across entities in the value chain and with APM terminals at the forefront to ensure they, as responsible consumers, are taking bold steps towards achieving the Go Green Initiative,” Ifedolapo Runsewe, MD, FREEE Recycle Limited said.

The collaboration between FREEE Recycle and APM Terminals is one that revolves around collection of waste tyres, recycling and manufacturing into reusable eco-friendly products.

FREEE Recycle will collect waste tyres which will be provided by APM Terminal. The waste tyres would be recycled and turned into reusable rubber tiles and mat and other flooring products, and the recycled rubber products will be repurchased by APM Terminals for personal use to help them push their environmental, social, and corporate governance (ESG) and corporate social responsibility (CSR) Projects which other companies can benefit from.

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“It is super encouraging to proceed and also embrace taking a leading role here. And of course, we are under a concession under the Nigerian Port Authority (NPA). I truly believe and support collaboration because if we are not doing this for ourselves, we’re doing this for our kids and our grandkids. So whatever we use today should be reused so we do not turn raw materials into waste,” Steen Knudsen, Manager, APM Terminals, said.

As an indigenous pioneer recycling company, FREEE Recycle is committed to continuously tackling waste challenges in Nigeria and Africa. FREEE Recycle provides an infrastructure for corporate consumers including APM Terminals, to achieve their organizational Go Green Initiative.

According to FREEE Recycle, out of the millions of wastes produced daily, waste tyres are among the most problematic and sources of solid waste.

However, little has been done to manage the waste tyres, and they are as dangerous as they are beneficial because they are non-biodegradable, energy-efficient, occupy spaces in the landfills and release harmful gases.

“We live in a linear economy rooted in the “take-make-dispose”. FREEE Recycle has successfully created an ecosystem which allows us to recycle these waste tyres that would otherwise, have ended up in the landfills or gutters, into eco-friendly products,” the company stated.

In 2021, FREEE Recycle commenced its Buy-back program which is a system where waste tyres from corporate consumers are supplied for recycling and repurchasing at a pre-agreed price.

As part of the FREEE Buy-Back Program, a Certificate of Recycling is issued to the company participating in the program, to recognize its contributions toward recycling waste and fostering the achievement of an eco-friendly and sustainable environment.

Speaking on achieving success on the project, Maryann Okeke, Senior Manager, Environment, NPA, said that for initiatives like these to work, there is a need for collaboration.

“There’s nothing that can work without collaboration. The problem we have in the Nigerian system is that everybody is working in silos, we are not putting our strengths together so that we will be able to go farther. When I see the ports in Europe and Asia, I am jealous. We are not synergizing as much as the international ports. However, we are moving and we’ll get there.”

FREEE Recycle’s vision is to be the foremost recycling and manufacturing Company in Nigeria and in Africa as a whole.

FREEE Recycle also intends on commencing steel recycling and manufacturing.

Another cause championing this initiative by FREEE Recycle is the environmental dangers caused by waste tyres. Since tyres are non-biodegradable, and when inappropriately disposed of, they serve as a habitat for rodents, mosquitoes and other disease-carrying vectors, indiscriminate burning leads to the emission of harmful carbon gases into the atmosphere.

“The burning of tyres also leads to the pollution of the atmosphere. Tyres when inappropriately disposed of block drainages and gutters thereby increasing the chances of spreading diseases and ailments such as malaria and typhoid. If not properly treated may lead to death,” the company said.

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