Germany is one of the countries with a legal requirement to fit winter tyres. It is worth noting that a visitor without winter tyres on their car will not be prosecuted unless they become involved in causing an accident or traffic jam because of improper tyres.
Germany Switches from Summer to Winter Tyres
Almost 48 million cars are currently registered in Germany. That equates to 192 million tyres and most vehicle owners regularly switch from summer to winter tyres and back again. There are also millions of commercial vehicles and their tyres. Many of the tyres are stored in “Tyre Hotels”, but many people also use the change-over as the time to replace worn tyres.
For buyers this is not a problem at first, the tyre dealer often accepts the tyres for a small fee and disposes of them. The ZARE Initiative calls on dealers to also dispose of old tyres properly or to recycle them. Unfortunately, there are still black sheep in the industry who illegally dispose of tyres. Profiles that are still roadworthy are often sold abroad, the rest ends up in rivers, lakes or on rubbish dumps in the environment.
At change-over time there is a peak in waste tyre arisings, and this creates a headache for the tyre industry, the police and local environment officers alike.
ZARE says that tyres can be completely reused and recycled. Whether retreading, material or thermal recycling – every tyre can easily be used with great value after its first life. Tipped off in nature, on the other hand, it is not only a burden for the environment, but also a burden for the public purse. Because cities and municipalities must pay for the disposal. Companies that illegally dispose of used tyres are thus damaging the community in several ways. Incidentally, a so-called “environmental offence” can also be classified as a criminal offense, which is often accordingly prosecuted.
Specialist companies, on the other hand, who have their tyres disposed of in an exemplary manner, can easily and visibly demarcate themselves. Dealers can use the change-over to reach out to drivers to ensure they have the correct information about how their tyres are recycled.