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Nanabi and Tyres
4 March

Nomkhubulwane shows itself in City Juárez

The use of scrap tires to manufacture asphalt for the streets of Juarez could be a solution to the estimated five million scrap tires currently stored at the Municipal Collection Center in Juarez.

This was stated by Gonzalo Bravo, manager of communications for the Border Environment Cooperation Commission (BECC), adding that such use of worn tires is already operating in cities such as Arizona, North American, a region which has climatic conditions similar to those of Juarez. He was asked to give a talk on Thursday to high school students on "The Problem of Tires in Ciudad Juarez” as part of the activities surrounding the visit of the life-size sculpture of the elephant Nanabí, which was created using recycled tires.

The lifesize artwork, weighing more than half ton, was created for the Human Elephant Foundation by the South African artist Andries Botha, and is one of twelve elephant sculptures, all created from different recycled materials, which are currently displayed in different parts of the globe spreading messages of conservation and respect for nature.

"If we used the 5 million tires we have in the Municipal Collection Center we could have created 200,000 (two hundred thousand) of these elephants. This give you an idea of the magnitude of the problem faced by the Municipal Collection Center, which is the largest repository of used tires into the country, "said Bravo.

In his talk, Bravo spoke about possible solutions for using the tires.

"In America, of the 280 million tires generated each year, there is a utilization of about 80 percent, mainly in the cement industry. Here in Juarez, we also produce cement with part of the rim of the tire "he said. Other possible applications would be to use the tire in granulated form, to be used in products such as tiles, mats, caps, ties and asphalt, such as is being done in the U.S. state of Arizona, where he said the weather conditions are very similar to this border. "Both places have extreme temperature changes from summer to winter which presents a problem for asphalt pavements. Arizona have developed a new material which uses granulated tires, so it is both more elastic and flexible, holds 20 percent more weight, and therefore lasts much longer" he said.

"In Juarez we certainly have the tires, and almost 50% of our sidewalks are unpaved, so can use this technology, the only concern being that to produce the new material is a costly process," he said.

"However, if are hoping to identify the resources to implement such a program locally," said Bravo. “The BECC is a body created as part of the NAFTA agreement by which North America seeks to deal collaboratively with the environmental problems at the US-Mexico border, "he concluded.

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