London - The Tyre Recovery Association (TRA) is urging the UK Environment Agency (EA) to “listen to the recycling industry to avoid the inadvertent promotion of unregulated businesses over reputable and regulated operations”.
According to TRA, EA has failed to heed to repeated calls to amend its proposed new “Fire Prevention Plan”, which requires larger spaces for current recycling capacities – potentially increasing operating costs for regulated waste management sites.
Currently, TRA argued, there are hundreds, if not thousands, of unregulated recycling sites across the UK operating under ‘exemptions’.
“Should they choose not to adhere to the new requirement, they are unlikely to fall foul of the new regulations nor face prosecution,” said the TRA.
By contrasts, it added, “reputable, regulated operations facing regular inspections will simply find it impossible to operate… with consequential job losses and increased safety risks.”
“If put the good guys out of business you’ll end up with the vacuum filled by those operating on exemptions, which does not make sense,” said TRA secretary general Peter Taylor.
“The proposed stack heights and separation dimensions are neither based on good science nor actual experience and if implemented would require the tripling or quadrupling of site area to accommodate the same capacity as currently accommodated at these site.
“Clearly, that is not viable for reputable businesses, which will simply fold if they try to conform,” he added. Far from being ‘low risk’, exempt sites are actually more susceptible to both fires and rogue activities”.
According to Taylor, the key issue was the question of site exemption.
“Ideally there would be no exemptions and then we’d be in different territory. It seems in a bid to have ‘light touch regulation’, in other words reduced red tape, we have ended up with the creation of a grossly misused regulatory status which is not subject to proper regulation or enforcement,” he concluded.