Call for national action on used tyres
The Australian Council of Recycling (ACOR) is leading the recycling industry’s call for national action on used tyres, with ACOR CEO Grant Musgrove saying a forthcoming meeting of state and federal environment ministers provides an ideal opportunity to “take steps to develop a national integrated strategy to deal with Australia’s tyre stockpiles, and not be hamstrung by the hapless energy debate”.
“While individual state governments have taken different approaches, we still have tyre stockpiles all over the country,” Musgrove said. “Some of these are simply dumped, while others are stockpiles of shredded tyres, but stockpiles nonetheless.
“Governments need to break the business models of the crooks who collect the tyres and dump them, but charge a ‘recycling fee’.”
Musgrove noted that tyres have a high calorific value and are “an excellent source of energy for cement kilns”. Another use includes crumb rubber asphalt for our roads, he added.
“Regardless of the end use, a strong market development strategy is required.
“It’s time for ministers to act collectively before we have a catastrophic tyre fire beyond the capacity of our water supply and fire agencies to extinguish in any reasonable time.”
Musgrove stated that other OECD countries have appropriate extended producer responsibility (EPR) in place and now it is time for Australia to follow. He noted, “Voluntary approaches to EPR can be hindered by the failure to progress beyond business as usual, regulatory capture, poor monitoring, free-riding and transaction costs.
“Tyres are the second-most material subject to product stewardship in the OECD, after e-waste, and only national tyre regulation will be the most suitable regulation option for Australia.”
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