Dublin – The Irish government will introduce new tire recovery regulations next month, despite concerns within the tire industry – both in Ireland and the UK.
Minister for communications, climate action and environment Denis Naughten, on 18 Sept, signed a bill to introduce new regulatory structures for the tire sector with effect from 1 Oct.
The bill, he said, will stem the stockpiles of waste tires - estimated at 750,000 - which "are illegally dumped around the countryside, potentially causing toxic fire threats and damage to human health."
The tire sector regulations will introduce a full compliance scheme to be operated by Repak ELT with a registration and reporting role for Producer Register Ltd (PRL).
The scheme will be based on a 'producer responsibility' model already established in Ireland for other waste streams such as packaging, batteries and waste electrical, electronic goods.
Funding will be via an environmental management cost (vEMC) of €2.80 per car tire and €1.50 per motorcycle tire. Further vEMCs are to be introduced "in due course" for truck, construction and agricultural tires.
“Setting this vEMC in regulation will formalise and standardise this existing charge that the consumer already pays when purchasing new tyres and will ensure that waste tyres are disposed of legally,” said Naughten.
And, citing a lack of information in relation to the tire market in Ireland, the minister said the regulations would "place a reporting obligation on tire operators to provide data on the numbers of tires coming on and off the market. This will be the first time that there will be clarity.”
With regard to concerns expressed by the Irish tire industry, particularly regarding enforcement, Naughten said that tires had been identified as a priority area by a national waste enforcement committee.
"I have made €9 million available this year in relation to waste enforcement. Now that these regulations are in place I will be asking the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) and local authorities to begin a visible enforcement campaign on tires,” he commented.
The new tire recovery scheme, though, has also raised seperate concerns outside the Irish Republic'- as highlighted recently by the Tyre Recovery Association (TRA) in the UK.
In particular, the proposed charges are “far higher” than UK market-based rates particularly those in Northern Ireland, according to Peter Taylor OBE, TRA secretary general
The open border between Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland “will inevitably lead to market distortions and widespread malpractices given the very significant differences in recovery costs between these two parts of Ireland,” Taylor warned.