Ireland – Ireland is ‘groaning’ under the weight of hundreds of thousands of illegally-disposed tyres, according to The Irish Times. However, the government has approved new regulations that will demand tyre manufacturers pay Euro 2.80 upfront for every tyre they introduce to the market so as to cover the costs of recovery and recycling as well as the running of the scheme.
This will be an improvement on the ‘very watered down’ extended producer responsibility (EPR) scheme launched in 2007, according to Seamus Clancy, chief executive of Repak ELT which will oversee the initiative. He cites ‘little enforcement’ as one of the major flaws of the previous measures. Consumers are currently paying up to Euro 3 per tyre in recycling charges but these ‘are not then being channelled into recovery and recycling’.
And Clancy adds: ‘Consumers are effectively paying for recycling and collection twice – because their taxes go to cover the cost of dealing with the illegal dumps.’ He puts the number of illegal tyre dumps at around 100 countrywide.
The new legislation will create local environmental enforcement teams to assess sites and levy heavier penalties for non-compliance. The full EPR scheme is expected to be up and running next winter. Repak ELT will use the next 12 months to complete its data gathering and start awareness campaigns to educate both the public and the industry about proper tyre management, according to Clancy.
‘Almost half of all waste tyres in Ireland are unaccounted for because the system that has been in place since 2007, and which elements of the tyre industry want to maintain, has failed abysmally,’ it has been stated by Alan Kelly, Ireland’s minister for the environment, community and local government.
‘We want the tyre sector to collect, sort and manage the waste they produce in an environmentally sound manner. No more and no less. The industry is suggesting the introduction of the PRI will lead to increase in costs and job losses. This is nonsense and a smoke screen as they don’t want to accept responsibility for their own waste.’
Repak ELT is a sister company of Repak Group, which handles some 800 000 tonnes of end-of-life waste and packaging per year.