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Tyre industry joins forces to end confusion over disposal

The Government's failure to agree a workable solution to the issue of producer responsibility on the disposal of scrap tyres could have major repercussions in 2006, when the landfill ban comes fully into force and 100 per cent of scrap tyres will have to be recycled.

As a result, the tyre industry is working on its own set of detailed proposals which will be put to the Government once its position is clarified.

Discussions between industry trade bodies, including the National Tyre Distributors Association (NTDA), the British Rubber Manufacturers' Association (BRMA) and Imported Tyres Manufacturers' Association (ITMA), are reported to be highly constructive in producing an effective solution.

“It is not an option simply to wait until the Government makes its position clear before developing an industry position in more detail,” says Richard Edy, director of the NTDA. “To do so risks there being too little time for them to develop measures that will have a material effect on the recovery of tyres when the landfill ban comes into force.

“Discussions so far have been very constructive and the parties concerned aim to reach out to the other main industry parties with an interest in the issue – principally the retail trade, the retreaders and the used tyre collectors and repro-cessors – in further meetings.”

The NTDA is calling for a free market approach to the scrap tyre issue, which would see retailers and wholesalers deciding who collects tyres and how much to pay. It is proposing the establishment of a joint registration and compliance scheme operated on a not-for-profit basis at arm's length from vested interests and regulated by the Environment Agency.

This scheme would offer a clear line of accountability for achieving a managed transition away from any dependency on landfill, with minimal disruption to existing market mechanisms and with potential to deliver a long term, market based, sustainable solution. David Bavaird, operations and logistics director of Waste Tyre Solutions (WTS), supports this view. “The Government already accepts there is a high quality collection and reprocessing infra-structure in place,” he says.

“By having a free market approach to producer responsibility, we will have a sustainable supply chain for scrap tyres, where the retailer and wholesaler decide who collects and how much they pay.”

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