The Deccan Chronicle reports that whilst the Greater Hyderabad Municipal Corporation cracks down on plastic bags of less than 40 microns, environmentalists believe it is the import of thousands of tonnes of scrap tyres that is of immediate concern.
Indian Recyclers Refute Claims of Illegal Waste Imports
According to published data, massive shipments of used tyres are being dumped in Hyderabad from the US, United Kingdom and West Asia.
Data collated by independent market research company Info Drive India reports that India imported scrap tyres worth Rs 15 crore (Rs 150m / £1,622,745) between just September 2016 and November 2016. Hyderabad imported 682,020 kg of these scrap tyres between January and November of the same year.
The Automobile Tyre Manufacturers Association in New Delhi explains why they continue to be a health hazard and why it is lobbying hard to ban their import altogether.
Mr Vinay Vijayvargiya, deputy director, technical, of ATMA, pointed out two main concerns. He said, “The foreign countries want a dumping ground for used tyres. So, they give them away at throwaway prices.
“Once imported, they sell like hot cakes across India. They are either reused in vehicles, even though they are unsuitable for our roads, and are hazardous, or they are burnt in pyrolysis plants to get cheap fuels and oils.” Pyrolysis plants across India have recently come under the scanner of several states for failing to meet environmental pollution standards.”
This state of affairs is disputed by the Indian Recyclers and Chetan Joshi, whom we have interviewed in Tyre and Rubber Recycling, says, “There are a few particular companies who are not compatible with tyre recyclers, in and out of India, who are trying to do all this. We, as an association had a couple of meetings last month with the Ministry of Environment & Forest Official and Niti AAyog (An Indian government body to frame and suggest various policies to government) to improvise and implement more safety and healthy operating procedures in tyre recycling (both in the ambient and pyrolysis sectors as well).
“The article mentioning illegal dumping is a case of a few foreign suppliers who sent containers to ICD Hyderabad without any requirement from customers, (the shipping lines too are unable to get hold of the ghost shipper in the US) who sent these containers. Customs are now penalising shipping lines for such imports and also auctioning the abandoned material amongst licence holding recyclers.
“As far as operating plants are concerned, they all are required to have consent to operate from the relative state pollution control board.”
Read more in Tyre and Rubber Recycling 2019-1