Engineer Veena Sahajwalla, known as the “alchemist of waste,” has invented a process for recycling rubber tyres into steel, called “green steel.” Car tyres are a very large contributor to waste. By diverting over 2 million passenger car tyres from landfills so far, environmental and economic value is derived from potential waste.
“With the ability to produce ferrous alloys from auto waste and copper-based alloys from e-waste, the vision of things being mined traditionally – raw materials sent long distances, one large processing plant used to transform it – is no longer how we see Australia’s manufacturing future. Not only are natural resources being depleted at an unsustainable pace, industries are beginning to recognize the cost-effectiveness of reusing materials and the importance of high value-add, small, agile and localized processing facilities.”
Veena Sahajwalla is a Laureate Fellow and the Founding Director of the Sustainable Materials Research and Technology Centre (SMaRT) at the University of New South Wales in Australia.