Iona Capital, an environmentally-focussed investment fund, has taken an unspecified stake in Gradena, a recycling project which plans to convert waste tyres into building products.
Gradena is a joint venture between Gradsol, a London-based civil engineering firm, and Dena Technology, which specialises in nanotechnologies.
The venture is planning to process around 1,200 tonnes of waste tyres in its first year, raising this output in future by adding more production lines.
The European Union's Landfill Directive banned whole tyres from going to landfill in the summer of 2003, with this extended to shredded tyres three years later.
According to Gradena the venture's end product can be moulded and cut into a wide range of shapes, and its wood-replacement product “will be far less susceptible to degradation from adverse conditions such as heat, cold, dampness, wind, insects and UV”.
At the end of their life Gradena products can themselves be recycled, it said.
Nick Ross, a director at Iona Capital, said his firm was fully committed to funding projects which helped achieve the government's zero waste to landfill target.
“This project is an excellent example of supporting leading edge technology and producing value-added products which overcome the growing issue of waste tyres.”
Gradsol's finance director Robert Paley, said: “This project achieves not only strong financial performance but also delivers significant environmental benefits.
“The main selling point of the end products is that they are much more durable than their traditional counterparts and they provide considerable additional commercial benefits.
“The efficient use of recycled tyres and UPVC not only reduces waste volumes; these wastes can be used to produce recyclable, new products. We even expect to have ‘off-cuts' and ‘end-of life' recovery programmes so that nothing is wasted.”