New Zealand Tyre Sector Presses Government

More than 5 million tyres are thrown away each year in New Zealand and the tyre industry wants Government help in getting a new recycling scheme going.

With 125,000 old, worn-out tyres collected in a year, one farm in north Canterbury has become the tyre dump of South Island.

Farm manager Angelique Hyde leased the land to a tyre collector, who is slowly sending them overseas for recycling.

Marty Hoffart of the Zero Waste Network says there are no rules about where tyres can be dumped.

"It's a totally unregulated industry, which means anyone can go and get a truck and go and pick up tyres from a tyre shop and take them anywhere and dump them."

Industry group Tyrewise, backed by New Zealand's biggest tyre importer, Bridgestone, is calling on the Ministry for the Environment to declare tyres a "priority product".

"We're taking away the motivation for tyres to go to landfill, the motivation for them to be dumped in streams or the end of streets," Bridgestone director of New Zealand business John Staples says. 

This would give the Government the ability to put a recycling fee on every tyre it imports - replacing the fee consumers pay at tyre shops and creating a multimillion-dollar fund to pay for collection and recycling.

The decision will now be made by the Government, but every day it waits thousands of tyres will continue to pile up.

 

About the author

Ewan has been editor of Retreading Business since 2006 and of Tyre & Rubber Recycling since the magazine was founded. During this period he has become an expert on the global tyre recycling sector. He has many years' experience as an automotive journalist including a period at Tyres & Accessories.

 

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