Cyprus has had difficulties with tyre recycling for some time now, various projects have been attempting to develop a tyre recycling operation on the island with varied success. However, a tyre fire at a tyre stockpile at the Vasiliko cement factory has spurred the Cypriot politicians into action.
MPs agreed that a single system needs to be in place for the collection and management of rubber, to avoid incidents like the large fire near the Vasiliko cement.
The issue was discussed by a parliamentary environment committee, where MPs heard that if the fire had not been contained it would have caused a huge disaster in the area as the factory is located in the same area as the VTTV oil depot and an electricity authority (EAC) substation.
Disy MP Giorgos Karoulas, who registered the issue for discussion, said that it is important that a single system is introduced for the collection and management of old tyres, to ensure the safety and health of members of the public.
State services ought to address this responsibly, he said, and all stakeholders involved ought to fully cooperate.
A study should be carried out, he said, to define where and how old tyres should be stored “to avoid any unpleasant incidents like that in Vasiliko”.
The Greens’ MP Charalambos Theopemptou said that despite the existence of licenced companies dealing with the recycling of old tyres, there are still many of them dumped in the countryside.
Theopemptou said there were too many tyres near the cement factory, next to a flammable substance. He referred to the EU’s Seveso Directive on major industrial accidents involving dangerous chemicals. The flammable substance, he said, was in a Seveso area.
In addition to the fire, he said, the water used to put out the fire washed away the dangerous substances and polluted the subsoil. The damage needs to be fixed.