97% of car and motorcycle tyres now recycled- Minister Bruton publishes review of first year of Tyre Disposal Scheme

The Minister for Communications, Climate Action and the Environment, Mr. Richard Bruton TD has published a review into the first year of a Scheme set up to ensure waste tyres are disposed of correctly.

Minister Bruton said: “As set out in the Climate Action Plan, managing our resources efficiently is crucial as we move towards a more sustainable, resilient society. We are taking actions across the board to ensure we manage our waste better.”

Tyres are not biodegradable and can become a fire hazard if not disposed of correctly. This Scheme was established in 2017 to tackle illegal dumping of tyres, to gather accurate data on waste tyres and to promote good practice for managing tyres which have reached their end of life.

The focus of the first year of the Scheme was on passenger car and motorcycle tyres. The report published last week shows that the Scheme has been very successful – of the approximately 3.8 million tyres placed on the market last year, 97% were recycled.

Minister Bruton said: “The results of the first year of this Scheme have been very promising – 31,000 tonnes of waste tyres were recovered and properly disposed of. We now have detailed data on the tyre market in Ireland. We will now consider the recommendations of the report and consider how best to extend the Scheme to other categories of tyres – truck and tractor tyres for example.”

Recycled waste tyres can be put to a variety of uses including the creation of playgrounds, football pitches, horse arenas, garden edges and weed suppressant.

The review, which contains 15 recommendations, will now be circulated to stakeholders for their consideration.

Minister Bruton said: “The Climate Action Plan includes an action to expand our Producer Responsibility Schemes to new areas. We must ensure that producers take responsibility for the environmental impact of disposing of goods they put on the market.”

Notes:
New structures for tyres and waste tyres were introduced on 1st October 2017 to address the chronic problem of waste tyres in Ireland. These new structures were given effect by the Waste Management (Tyres and Waste Tyres) Regulations 2017 (S.I. 400 of 2017).

The scheme is operated by Repak ELT, with a registration and reporting role for the Producer Register Limited (PRL). All tyre producers and retailers are statutorily obliged to be members of the scheme.

In establishing the scheme, it was agreed that a review of the data flow and scheme operation would be undertaken at 6 and 12 months after its introduction. The scheme was kept under close review for the initial six months and three amendments were carried out to the Regulations. The Department engaged an independent body, RPS Group, to carry out a review of year 1 of the operation of the scheme.

The completed review is now available to view or download on the Department’s website.

The EPA is responsible for enforcement of the Tyres Regulations which relates to functions and powers of the Registration Body and the obligations of tyre producers.

A nationwide campaign of tyre producer enforcement was carried out in 2018. 69 enforcement visits were carried out at tyre producer premises countrywide. 60 of these visits related to Display of PRL (Producer Register Limited) registration number on sales documentation. 9 visits related to producer registration.

In addition, 98 enforcement notices were issued. These notices can be broken down as follows:

  • 56 initial notifications of non-compliance.
  • 26 second notifications of non-response.
  • 16 final warning letters.

According to the EPA, by the end of 2018, only 2 of 355 producers identified nationwide remained unregistered.

Prior to the introduction of the regulations road-shows were held across the country to raise awareness of retailer and producer obligations under the new Regulations.

In line with the new Regulations, the Waste Enforcement Regional Lead Authorities (WERLAs) developed a Tyre Information Pack, with standardised letter templates and inspection forms. Local authorities were requested to write to all retailers in their functional area, using the standard letter template. The letter detailed retailer obligations under the Regulations.