Velorim’s Dave Hawthorn met with representatives of DEFRA to discuss the possible imposition of a landfill ban on bicycle tyres.
The National Bicycle Tyre Recycling Scheme operated by Velorim is ready to deal with any landfill ban by collecting and recycling bicycle tyres.
Dave Hawthorn, chairman of Velorim, said; “This is a momentous day for the cycle trade with England and Wales looking set to be the first place in the world to introduce environmental controls on bicycle tyres and inner tubes that would ban them from landfill and limit overseas disposal.”
This latter point is perhaps somewhat hopeful given the level of exports for vehicle ELT. However, a recycling scheme and a landfill ban is a start.
DEFRA’s Natalie Way, from the Environmental Quality Directorate, said; “DEFRA is committed to reducing the amount of all waste types entering landfill, including bicycle tyres and inner tubes.
“We were pleased to meet with a representative of the National Bicycle Tyre Recycling Scheme to discuss their important work developing recycling options for waste tyres. Defra remains committed to consult on measures that move end of life products higher up the waste hierarchy.
“The 2018 Resources and Waste Strategy identified bicycle tyres as a priority area for such a review.”
The National Bicycle Tyre Recycling Scheme, launched in 2020, diverts bike tyres and inner tubes from landfill converting them into a range of useful outcomes including devulcanised rubber that can be used to make new products.
The scheme is run in partnership with a national network of collection points, or Velorim Centres, mainly bike shops.
Recently, Velorim has commissioned its own reprocessing plant in the North East, another significant step forward.
Hawthorn added; “Whilst we respect that it will take time for DEFRA to go through its consultation process, we are not expecting objections to be raised now that the recycling scheme is operational nationwide. Particularly as the burden of cost lies on the consumer, not the trade.”
Of course, persuading the consumer to pay is always going to be an issue. Introducing a cost is never taken lightly by the consumer. Whilst it is difficult for a vehicle owner to stuff his old car tyres into the domestic bin, bicycle tyres, we predict, will still end up in the domestic waste stream. But time will tell.