On the North-Eastern corner of the Arabian Peninsula lies a city where the number of scrap tyres outnumbers the local population over 3:1.
Each year, new swathes are dug into the sand outside of Kuwait City to accommodate hundreds of thousands of scrap tyres brought in from abroad. Estimates vary, but the last official figure was that over 7,000,000 scrap tyres are currently housed in Sulaibiya. The dump is so large that it can be seen from space.
The environmental impact of a tyre graveyard is monumental. The toxic & potentially carcinogenic chemicals that leak from these tyres endanger both the planet & the local population. Further and greater risks are posed by the threat of fires. The smoke released by the burning of the rubber contains cyanide, carbon monoxide & sulphur.
In 2012, 5 million tyres were deliberately set ablaze by a fire in another Kuwaiti tyre dump. The local population was spared by sheer good fortune in that the wind blew the hazardous smoke across the Gulf. The blaze was so large that NASA released a report on it.