Dr Mehran Zarrebini

Dr Mehran Zarrebini standing on a pile of truck tyres waiting to be recycled at the Mathe Group factory in Hammarsdale.

Mathe Group, Kwazulu-Natal’s biggest tyre recycling success story and one of the largest plants of its kind in South Africa, recently celebrated the recycling of its 100 000th truck tyre at its Hammarsdale facility this year.

Dr Mehran Zarrebini, head of British investment group PFE International Inc. which is one of the major shareholders in Mathe Group, said that the tyres had been processed into approximately 4 800 tons of rubber crumb.

A large portion of Mathe Group’s rubber crumb goes to the Van Dyck Floors factory in Prospecton where it is used to manufacture rubber flooring and paving and acoustic underlays for different types of floor covering which are exported to 50 countries across the world.

The factory has also provided rubber crumb for use as infill for sports fields utilising artificial grass in South Africa, Namibia, Zambia, Botswana, Tanzania and the Congo. It is also used for the retreading of tyres, in modified bitumen for road resurfacing and for the manufacture of non-slip paint by the coating industry.

An environmental Imperative

Zarrebini says the recycling of the nearly 11 million used tyres that build up in South Africa each year is an environmental imperative.

“We rotate our stock of tyres from an environmental perspective.  The number of tyres received each delivery varies,” he says.

The R20 million plant in Hammarsdale, which came on stream at the beginning of February 2016, processed 65 000 tyres last year and is on track to recycle approximately 150 000 this year.

It currently runs 24 hours a day, seven days a week.  Due to strong demand, it will run over the December/January festive period.