War of words over tire-waste safety proposals
ERJ staff report (PR)
London - New proposals to improve safety standards at waste storage sites in the UK have triggered a hostile response from the UK Tyre Recovery Association (TRA) whose members handle more than three quarters of the country’s end-of-life tire arisings.
Responding to the outcome of a consultation by the Waste Industry Safety and Health (WISH) forum, the TRA said “the proposals from the Environmental Services Association-led WISH group [were] counter-intuitive and arrogant.”
The WISH document indicates that its consultation was wide-ranging but is “wholly disingenuous”, commented TRA secretary general Peter Taylor OBE - adding that the tire industry and other important waste-stream sectors were ignored during the consultation process.
“We support best practice and the need for ever-higher standards but in their present form ‘WISH’ norms are wholly unworkable and would … put even the very best collectors and recyclers out of business,” said Taylor.
The TRA has been working with the UK Environment Agency and other bodies since 2011 to develop standards for safer storage of waste tires, submitting proposals in late 2013. But, said its secretary general, the WISH proposals embody none of this work and revert to “completely unviable” storage norms.
Taylor is now urging Defra and the Environment Agency to review the approach used by the WISH group “with a view to re-injecting more transparency and genuine sector involvement into its proposals before they gain any further traction.”
Responding to the TRA statement, Chris Jones from WISH emphasised that the fire-safety guidance is being prepared under the auspices of WISH, rather than of the ESA.
“ESA are a member of WISH and have been kind enough to assistance us with secretarial support to the WISH Fires Working Group,” he said.
Jones went on to explain that WISH had released the first consultation draft of its proposed fire guidance document on 27 June. This, he said, had generated comments from a wide range of parties with interests in the work of the waste sector.
The TRA, he said, was among those consulted on the draft guidance, being provided with a personal meeting with the chairman of WISH and the chair of the WISH fires working group.
Jones concluded: “Feedback from consultees has been positive on the majority of the document and the comments provided will be useful in shaping the final form of the document.
“The comments and views of the industry, regulators and others will continue to be sought as the document evolves and is finalised.”