Tyre shredding and recycling is now big business, as environmental groups strive to cut down on landfill

A man has lost both his legs after falling into a tyre shredder while working at a tyre recycling centre in Missouri.

James Garrett, a Kansas City Fire Department spokesman said that the man's co-workers had already pulled him out from the shredder when ambulance and firefighter crews arrived on Monday morning.

The victim was apparently helping to perform maintenance on the machine at the ABC Tire Recycling near downtown Kansas City when he got caught in it, said Garrett.

"It came in as a traumatic rescue, when they arrived on the scene we got information that an individual fell into a tire shredder and was separated from two of his limbs," said Garrett,

"We have investigators here on the scene investigating."

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration is also looking in to the incident, according to AP.

A report in the New York Daily News said that the man was cleaning the machine when it suddenly powered up and he fell in.

The man's legs were mangled by the machine and both limbs had to be amputated at the hospital.

Eyewitnesses at the scene told KSHB-TV the man lost both legs at mid-thigh.

The man's condition is described as critical, although he was still alive when he arrived at the hospital.

In April 2012, Scott Johnson, a temporary employee at Rumpke, one of the largest landfills in the United States, got caught in a tyre shredding machine in Ohio.

Firefighters reported that the machine had to be taken apart to free him.

He died of his injuries in the hospital a few days later.

"We are extremely sad this incident occurred. My heart goes out to Scott's family. They are in our prayers and we offer our deepest sympathy," said Jeff Rumpke, vice president at Rumpke.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration has investigated the incident and

Rumpke expects to pay fines unrelated to Johnson's injuries. The citation identifies machine guarding issues which were not associated with the incident involving Johnson.

Tyre shredders are extremely powerful machines, capable of cutting down even the largest truck tires to small pieces in a matter of seconds.