Meet Elharoun is an Egyptian village filled with tyre recycling workshops where tyres have traditionally been recycled from shoes through to fine powders.
The whole population of Meet Elharoun Village, seventy kilometers north Cairo, a part of Zefta city, in the El Gharbia governorate, in Delta Egypt, sees some six thousand people work in tyre recycling.
Most of the worn out tyres consumed by the Egyptian market are collected and brought to this village to be recycled.
The people of Meet Elharoun are also importers of new tyres, for the latter two reasons there is NO unemployment in this village.
Saad El Absawy, who comes from one the biggest families of Meet Elharoun Village, and the General Manager for a trading company that collects worn out tyres, sells tyre casings to retreading factories and imports new tyres.
His company mission is to collect worn out tyres, classifying them into: Used tyres to be sold and reused, Casings for tyre retreading, worn out tyres to be delivered to recycling workshops.
El Aabsawy explains that this profession started one hundred years ago and was inherited by following generations.
The grandfathers used to produce shoes from the worn out tyres, they also used to produce a rubber bucket that carries building material, that bucket was really strong to hold the building material load and was commonly used by the builders.
After the shoes and bucket products, the villagers of Meet Elharoun started to develop their workshops and started producing conveyer belts for the block factories.
Recently the workshops of Meet Elharoun started producing rubber powder that is used for playgrounds, they remove the wire and sell it to the steel factories. They use the tyre lining to produce water hoses, also they use rubber strips in furniture production instead of cotton.
“One more very important usage of the tyre recycling products is “Alternative Fuel” to be produced without a bad effect on the environment, as we produce it according to the legislation of the Ministry of Environment, and the Public Industrial Authority, this alternative fuel is sold to the Cement Factories,” added Aabsawy.
“In Meet Elharoun, we recycle all categories of tyres,” explained Elabsawy. Passenger, light truck, truck, OTR and even airplane tyres; those tyres used to form a major threat for the environment. We, in Meet Elharoun, managed to solve this problem on behalf of the government by recycling those tyres and changing them into saleable products. We also offer lots of job opportunities for thousands of young men and women, to the extent that we have zero unemployment rate in Meet Elharoun village.
“Our business has extended overseas, in the form of selling our products to countries like Jordan, Sudan and Ethiopia, and we export and transfer even our Know How of the tyre recycling business,” added Aabsawy.
“The talent, creativity and responsibility of Meet Elharoun people is the belief in a clean environment, and to create the procedure to reach that clean environment, besides they develop their procedure to earn money,” declared El Absawy.
The people of Meet Elharoun use their talent to produce many parts of the rubber recycling machines locally, so a regular workshop that works in tyre recycling operates two cutters, that cuts the tyres into strips, another two cutter machines that cut the strips into smaller strips around five by five cm.
The next step is the crusher that grinds the rubber strips more and differentiate the wires from the rubber, after that the wires goes into a separate lane rather than the rubber. The next step is chipping the rubber into the desired cross section that varies from 0.8 mm to 30 cm. Then the wires are directed alone into the refining machine, where the wires are cleaned of any rubber residue, to the maximum purity percentage.
There are many workshops in Meet Elharoun, each and every one of them can recycle up to one thousand tyres daily, and this depends on the collection teams that travel around collecting the worn out tyres from garages and tyre dumping areas, of course as the end users the collection team has to pay a fee for those tyres.
The first intention of the owners of the recycling workshops in Meet Elharoun is to prepare the rubber as the “Alternative Fuel”, they sell it to the cement and brick factories, to help save on the energy costs for those factories. Then they produce other products like floor mats for play grounds and kid’s areas, conveyor belts, car mats, rubber bumpers for ports.
Many of the families of Meet Elharoun village also import new tyres and distribute them side by side with the tyre collection process for the recycling and tyre retreading businesses.