London – Many tire recycling operations could soon close due to planned new rules intended to increase the safety of waste storage sites in the UK, the Tyre Recovery Association (TRA) has warned.
Proposals by the Environment Agency (EA) to regulate the storage and processing of end-of-life tires will force many operators out of business by the end of this year, said a TRA press statement.
In particular, the association believes that new EA requirements for maximum stack heights and stack separation distances will reduce site capabilities by up to 50 percent.
As well as causing site closures and job losses, the TRA said the “unworkable” restrictions will increase the activities of rogue operators in the UK sector.
“TRA members operate from permitted sites and are routinely audited under the UK’s industry’s Responsible Recycler Scheme, its 22 July statement explained. “Those operating from exempt and illegal sites suffer no such inconvenience and are rarely subject to enforcement by the EA.”
Moreover, the UK association stated, the stack heights and separation distances proposed for tires are “inexplicably much lower” than for more readily combustible wastes such as plastics, wood, textiles and paper.
“We have always worked closely with the EA and believe in the ‘partnership’ approach but the current situation is hugely disappointing and suggests we have simply been engaged in a dialogue of the deaf,” said Peter Taylor OBE, secretary general of the TRA.
“Instead of working with us to preserve what is best in the business of tyre recycling these EA proposals will give a huge boost to illegal activity, no doubt increasing the very risks they seek to contain,” he added.
In a subsequent statement, issued 28 July, Taylor said the TRA was pleading with UK government officials to adopt a more proportionate approach and reject the current “ill-thought through and damaging initiative.” (read latest TRA statement).