New fee set to be introduced to fund tyre disposal scheme

Published by James Orr on

September 19th, 2017

The Government is set to introduce a new tyre disposal fee as part of regulation to crack down on illegal tyre dumping and bring greater transparency to the industry.

Announced this week by the Environment Minister, Denis Naughten, TD, the Waste Management (Tyres and Waste Tyres) Regulations 2017 are set to come into effect from 1 October 2017.

The number of illegally dumped tyres scattered across the country is conservatively estimated to be around 750,000, with 35,000 tonnes of waste tyres generated annually.

Earlier this year, the Government allocated €1 million to clean up stockpiles of waste tyres, which have the potential to cause fire and release harmful pollutants.

The new regulations will establish a visible Environmental Management Cost (vEMC) per tyre that will go directly towards used tyre collection, transport and disposal. The standardised vEMC fee will be €2.80 for a car tyre and €1.50 for motorcycle tyres (excluding VAT).

At present, consumers pay twice for the disposal of used tyres through the informal disposal fee charged at the discretion of retails – between €1.50 and €3.50 per tyre – and then again through taxation when local authorities are forced to clean up illegally dumped tyres.

Mr Naughten said that the new fee will help “formalise and standardise this existing charge that the consumer already pays” while also ensuring that “waste tyres are disposed of legally”.

He added that the consumer must be confident that the fees they pay are “used for their intended purpose”.

“In the future, I do not want to have to use public finances – derived from taxes on the same consumers – to clean up tyres that are illegally dumped in our countryside and rivers,” he said.

Under the new regulations, tyre operators will also have to provide data on the numbers of tyres coming on and off the market.

In a statement, the Irish Tyre Industry Association said that is has been “continuously engaged” with the Government throughout the drafting of this new regulation, with members raising concerns about enforcement of the new scheme.

In response to these concerns, Mr Naughten said: “I fully recognise the concerns expressed to me in relation to enforcement. Now that these regulations are in place I will be asking the EPA and Local Authorities to begin a visible enforcement campaign on tyres”.

A study published earlier this year found that tyres are a significant source of microplastics in the oceans, highlighting their far-reaching environmental impact.

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James Orr

James is The Green New's Biodiversity Reporter and a wildlife and landscape photographer based in Dublin. James has a BA in Zoology from TCD.