ESSEN, Germany-Effective scrap tire recycling is becoming more tangible for German tire dealers with the establishment and growth of collection networks promising nationwide logistics for such efforts. One new group being formed, VEGA (Verwertungs- und Entsorgungsgesell-schaft fuer Altstoffe), plans to create a network of 12 partners throughout Germany, with an initial annual collection and processing capacity of 300,000 metric tons, according to Managing Director Wilhelm Lenz.
A key element of the VEGA concept is that each partner must be certified by the independent German testing body, TuV Rheinland, under a program set up a year ago to introduce controls on an industry segment whose image too often has been besmirched by ``fly-by-night'' operators.
The VEGA partners initially will concentrate on contracting with both the sources of scrap rubber (tire dealers, primarily) and reprocessing/disposal companies to set up a nationwide collection and delivery network. Some partners have their own reprocessing capacity.
The group has had inquiries from outside Germany, primarily from Belgium, the Netherlands and Luxembourg, Lenz said.
For now the organization will concentrate on Germany, but the group is interested in joining with recycling projects in neighboring countries, according to the managing director.
Eventually, VEGA hopes to tie in with the cement industry and with a scrap tire/rubber fired power generation plant planned for a site in an industrial park near Bitterfeld, Germany, the heart of the chemicals industry in the former East Germany.
The plant, supported by both German and U.S. investors, is undergoing approval hearings now, and the backers anticipate being on stream by 1996. Capacity is expected to be 125,000 units, Lenz said.
Lenz joined VEGA earlier this year after resigning as head of the German rubber industry's scrap rubber initiative, GAVS, a position he'd held for nearly three years.
For the time being, GAVS (Gesellschaft fuer Altgummi-VerwertungsSysteme GmbH) will continue to look into scientific solutions to the scrap rubber problem.
VEGA is not the only organization stepping up efforts in the tire disposal field.
Continental A.G., TuV Rheinland and Elm Energy Ltd. have been active in that area recently.