Environmental Traction


Adelantar Consulting


An Alberta company’s innovative research and testing has confirmed the effective use of a recycled product previously considered a waste. Tire Derived Aggregate, or TDA for short, is a value-added engineered product produced from scrap tires. While this product has long been used in Alberta, there was a lack of evidence that it is an effective alternative to traditional aggregate. 

“Stewardship and ecological responsibility are central to the way we operate,” says (Adelantar spokesperson). “We recognize that progress starts with a willingness to explore alternate solutions so we’ve never been daunted by trying something new.” After two decades in the marketplace, innovative research on TDA has proven its value.


The company’s traction in this space has been enhanced by a commitment to ongoing research and collaboration. In 2015, Adelantar was engaged by the Alberta Recycling Management Authority (ARMA) to build on the exceptional work previously done by the Edmonton Waste Management Centre of Excellence and the University of Alberta on the evaluation of TDA.


The group was tasked with assessing specific characteristics of TDA and determining whether the product would be a suitable replacement material for conventional aggregate in leachate collection systems in Alberta landfills. During this second phase of the evaluative research, Adelantar worked closely with the University of Saskatchewan. These partnerships were integral as they boosted the project with unmatched expertise, equipment, and resources for any related testing, data gathering and analysis.


“We quickly learned that TDA is a highly effective and versatile product that can replace gravel used in applications such as our landfills and road construction,” explains (spokesperson). “Not only does it have greater drainage properties, it is also an excellent thermal barrier, guarding against frost penetration when temperatures drop.”


TDA has many advantages over traditionally used gravel delivering lasting environmental benefits for infrastructure projects and waste management. While some still equate a landfill with an unsophisticated dump, these days the sites are in fact carefully planned areas with complex systems to prevent liquid matter that drains from land or collected material from absorbing into encompassing land and groundwater.  Proper drainage in our landfills is very important because it reduces standing water and contamination, which can create environmental and public health hazards.

In road construction, TDA serves as a great base product used under concrete and asphalt as it acts as a thermal barrier during our cold winters as well as provides a bit of give in the surface prolonging the life of our roads.  It is an effective material to use in areas with high water tables due to the permeable nature of the TDA. Incorporation of TDA into local projects delivers lasting functional and environmental benefits.


“In 2018, Albertans disposed of enough tires to fill an NHL hockey rink,” says Ed Gugenheimer, CEO of the Alberta Recycling Management Authority (ARMA). “In the past, these materials would have simply sat idle in our landfills but thanks in part to the research conducted by Adelantar, they are now serving a useful purpose in a variety of settings.”


Over the last two decades, TDA has continued to garner attention both at home and in communities abroad. With solid research and a commitment to continuous improvement, Adelantar confirmed this valuable path for old tires.


“We had an inkling that we were onto something great so many years ago,” says (Adelantar spokepersons). “What we didn’t expect was the exponential impact across sectors.”


Unexpected yes but welcome nonetheless. This is a great example of how one company helped create jobs, fueled research, reduced the community’s collective environmental footprint and added to Alberta’s internationally recognized recycling reputation.