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Is tyre derived aggregate environmentally safe?

Two-thirds of a million tyres shredded in a 16-month recycling project are getting a second life as a building material known as tyre derived aggregate (TDA).

The Department of Environment told Cayman 27 shredded tyres are widely used as an aggregate substitute, and as such, much research exists on the topic.

The DOE said while TDA contains potentially toxic substances, the current thinking is these shredded tyres do not present a major environmental problem.

The DOE pointed out that whole tyres present an arguably bigger risk, holding water and becoming breeding grounds for mosquitoes that can transmit disease.

“We review each [TDA] application in the context of the site it will be ultimately used at. The biggest areas for potential problems are the interactions with the water table, which is the jurisdiction of the Water Authority who also undertake a review of TDA applications,” said DOE Deputy Director Tim Austin in an email last week.

About the author

Joe Avary

Joe Avary

Joe Avary has been with Cayman 27 since 2014. He brings 20 years in television experience to the job, working hard every day to bring the people of Cayman stories that inform the public and make a difference in the community. Joe hopes his love for the Cayman Islands shines through in his informative and entertaining weather reports. If you have a story idea for Joe or just want to say hello, call him at 324-2141 or send an email to

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