AN Ellesmere Port company has taken just three years to recycle one million old tyres.

And bosses at recycling innovators BIG ATOM say this is the tip of the iceberg with the town site licensed to process 2.5 million a year after investing in new machinery.

The workforce has increased to 33 and a recent investment in upgraded machinery has allowed the company to produce rubber crumb in three size variants; 0-2mm, 2-6mm and 20mm.

Once collecting worn tyres from garages across the North West and North Wales, they are shredded and fed to a granulation line where the rubber is downsized and steel separated.

About 50 per cent of its recycled products is rubber for equestrian arenas and the construction industry, 20% is recovered steel and the rest is of the rubber is further processed to go into surfacing in places like school playgrounds.

Company founder Alexander Guslisty said: “We have achieved a lot and the 1,000,000th tyre is a nice milestone, but we see this as the start and there’s still a lot of work to be done.

“Road construction is an area of potential growth and trials have taken place involving Highways England using rubber in road construction. This has been shown to reduce energy lost to sound and actually push vehicles along, making cars more energy efficient,” he added.

Alex has established a footprint for BIG ATOM as the North West’s second largest tyre recycling plant, accounting for 12 per cent of the region’s market share.

His ultimate aim is to bring an end to waste entirely by creating a circular economy for polymer materials.

Plans are already in place to build a patented chemical reactor and testing laboratory to create an even more sustainable regeneration process for polymers, which will be regenerated into new raw materials, such as oil, gas and carbon black.

Mr Guslisty added: “The best solutions in the world are always the simplest. We are here because we can make the recycling process so much simpler. We care passionately about the environment, but we also love solving problems and removing convoluted processes.

“There is a problem with waste travelling thousands of miles on ships which we don’t have control over. We believe that we can solve this problem through our processes.

“It’s predicted that plastic waste in the ocean will outweigh fish by 2050. There will be up to 850 million tonnes of plastic in the ocean by then. We want BIG ATOM to finding pragmatic solutions by creating a circular economy for polymer materials.”

“Recycling our 1,000,000th tyre is a positive step, but it’s the first on a longer journey we’re on, with plenty more milestones to come.”