London – This autumn could bring with it a new rash of tire dumping and site abandonment, UK’s Tyre Recovery Association (TRA) has warned.
In a 25 Sept statement, TRA said the public, regulators and the trade should beware of several factors currently contributing to the increase in the so-called “fly-tipping” of end-of-life tires (ELTs).
A key contributor, it said, is higher ‘gate prices’ – the typical amount charged by recyclers to accept old tires from those providing a collection-only service.
“Gate prices have almost doubled since the start of the year as market conditions have hardened, indications are that they will remain at these new levels,” said the TRA statement.
According to the association, many smaller collectors have been slow to recognise the development and now find themselves holding large quantities of old tires they have collected at prices too low to fund current reprocessing costs.
A further factor is that the UK environment agency’s temporary Covid-driven relaxation of storage limits for our old tires ends on 30 Sept.
This, said TRA, means that operators who have used the concession will now have to return to normal permitted limits.
In addition, a potential early end to an existing ‘exemptions’ regime in England and Wales will put further pressure on some operators to "choose between more responsible levels of regulatory compliance or business closure," the statement added.
“These are an exceptional set of circumstances’, said Peter Taylor, TRA secretary-general.
“We fear [these circumstances] will have reputational consequences for our industry and for regulators,” Taylor added.
The TRA official urged police and regulators to be “more than ever alert” to the growing danger of abandonment of ELTs over the coming months.
The association also urged tire retailers and vehicle dismantlers to meet their legal “duty of care” when passing on wastes such as old tires.