It comes to the surprise of many that the world’s biggest tire graveyard can be found in Kuwait in the Sulaibiya area. The six-acre area holds an estimated seven million tires. Seen from space, the giant holes dug in the sand are filled to the brim with executed car tires. The tires are now ablaze.
The toxic fallout
The hazardous smoke seen in the image emitted from the raging fires has become a common yearly occurrence. Miraculously, the smoke was blown away to the direction of the sea, and not inland. You may wonder why such flammable and hazardous material is stored in a place where weather conditions exceed 50 degrees Celsius; but the four companies in charge of disposing the tires are said to make a hefty amount of money out of it.
Over several locations, around 52 million tires in total from Kuwait and other countries can be found in different landfills. However, the Kuwaiti government began moving towards tackling the backlog of tires. There is a plan set in motion to recycle 95% of the tires, and make way for new housing projects.
This is certainly a positive move that rids the Kuwaitis of an ecological disaster at hand. In 2012, a fire was deliberately set in one of the tire graveyards in Kuwait. Five million tires were burnt in this act of arson, and the environmental damage was staggering. Burning tires is an environmental problem for numerous countries since burning tires releases carcinogenic gases in the air that also cause respiratory diseases. It is an issue that should not be taken lightly.
We hope the fires don’t end up hurting anyone or the environment anymore.