Ireland announces rigorous waste tyre inspections

The Irish government hopes to clamp down on the environmentally damaging disposal or inappropriate use of waste tyres with a new set of rigorous site inspections by local authorities.

Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government, Dick Roche, TD, this week requested that councils now began inspecting tyre outlets with a view to improving their waste management systems and business practices.

“It is imperative that waste tyres are not put to inappropriate uses such as unauthorised burning, uncontrolled disposal or the formation of indiscriminate stockpiles,” Mr Roche stated.

“These practices are not acceptable as they can cause nuisance and pose both environmental and health hazards, as well as infringe waste and other environmental legislation.”

He added that there was much scope for the beneficial reuse of waste tyres, such as in some farming activities, as long as the use of the tyres conformed to current legislative requirements.

Following in-depth discussions with the Irish Tyre Industry Association on the development of a producer responsibility initiative for waste tyres, Mr Roche said that he was keen to implement a viable, effective tyre recycling regime that fully regulated collection, transport, storage and treatment issues.

In the meantime, he wanted local authorities to conduct strict inspections of all tyre outlets while the full details of the new initiative were still under discussion.

“I want to see the industry cooperate with local authorities to achieve more effective management so that the unacceptable practices that have become evident are eliminated,” he insisted. “If the desired response is not forthcoming I will not hesitate in bringing forward regulations with a view to tightening controls in this area.”

Information from the inspections will help to form a comprehensive database, including collectors, facilities and waste management fees.

“I am concerned that some tyre outlets are charging an environmental levy,” Mr Roche continued. “There is no such levy and we need to establish if these waste tyres are being dealt with in an environmentally acceptable manner.”

The Ministry has requested that major fleet holders and members of the tyre industry review their existing practices with a view to creating a best practice model for waste tyre management.

By Jane Kettle

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