Final Report on the Committee’s Inquiry into Used Tyre Disposal

Committee: Committee for the Environment

Session: 2012/2013

Date: Thursday, 25 April 2013

Reference: NIA 112/11-15

ISBN: 978-0-339-60480-3

Mandate Report Number: 2011/15

Together with the Minutes of Proceedings of the Committee relating to the Report, Minutes of Evidence, and Written Submissions

Powers

The Committee for the Environment is a Statutory Departmental Committee established in accordance with paragraphs 8 and 9 of the Belfast Agreement, section 29 of the Northern Ireland Act 1998 and under Standing Order 48.

The Committee has power to:

  • Consider and advise on Departmental budgets and annual plans in the context of the overall budget allocation;
  • Consider relevant secondary legislation and take the Committee stage of primary legislation;
  • Call for persons and papers;
  • Initiate inquires and make reports; and
  • Consider and advise on any matters brought to the Committee by the Minister of the Environment

You can view the Ministerial response to the report here.

 

Introduction

Background

On 23 June 2011 the Committee for the Environment agreed to conduct an inquiry into the
safe disposal of used tyres in Northern Ireland.

This decision was reached following the Committee's consideration of the Outgoing
Committee's Legacy Report including information it had sought from individual councils
and a briefing from Research and Information Service on tyre disposal. The Committee
was concerned that the most recent information suggested that 30% of used tyres were
unaccounted for but equally concerned that this information was based on a survey that was
over 10 years old.

The Committee agreed to call for written evidence on the terms of reference during the 2011
summer recess and take oral evidence and conduct visits during autumn 2011.

Aim and Terms of Reference

The Committee for the Environment agreed the aim and terms of reference of its inquiry at its
meeting of 30 June 2011.

Aim

'To examine the current approach to the management of used tyres 1 in Northern Ireland'.

Terms of Reference

The Committee will:
■ Examine the legal framework for the collection, storage and disposal of used tyres and
consider how this is monitored and enforced by the Northern Ireland Environment Agency
■ Critically examine the current audit trail for managing tyres from purchase through to
disposal and establish key responsibilities at critical stages
■ Compare the Northern Ireland approach to managing used tyres with other approaches
e.g. Producer Responsibility, Tax system etc.
■ Estimate the number of used tyres arising annually in Northern Ireland
■ Establish the extent of historical stockpiles of used tyres in Northern Ireland and consider
how these could be incorporated into the established process for managing used tyres
■ Establish the potential for the development of an environmentally sound, economically
viable, and self-sustaining end-use market in Northern Ireland and make recommendations
accordingly (this would include consideration of alternative uses for used tyres)
■ Make recommendations to enhance the transparency and robustness of the processes
that underpin the management of used tyres in Northern Ireland
■ To produce a report on the findings and recommendations of the Inquiry after the
Department for the Environment has:
a. provided up to date data and a detailed breakdown of the waste tyre sector
b. produced a Tyres Action Plan

1The term 'used' tyres in the context of this Inquiry means retreadable tyres + second hand tyres + exportable tyres + end of life tyres.

Final Report on the Committee's Inquiry into Used Tyre Disposal

Progress of the Inquiry

During the inquiry the Department informed the Committee that it was initiating a Waste Data
Survey to update its information on the numbers of tyres arising in Northern Ireland and their
disposal. Officials also advised the Committee that they were developing an action plan for
used tyres.

Consequently, the Committee agreed to defer the publication of its final report on its inquiry
until after the Department had reviewed and updated its statistics on waste tyres. However,
the Committee continue to gather and analyse evidence and subsequently agreed an interim
report which drew preliminary conclusions and made twenty interim recommendations. The
twenty interim recommendations are set out on pages 3 and 4 and the full interim report is
appended to this report.

On 15 May 2012, following a debate in plenary session, the Assembly approved the
Committee's interim report and called on the Minister of the Environment to bring forward a
timetable for implementing the recommendations contained in the report.

On 12 February 2013 the Department provided the Committee with a report on an all-
Island Used Tyre Survey. The survey, which had been commissioned by the Department in
collaboration with the Department of the Environment, Community and Local Government
(DECLG), is included at appendix 1.

On 21 March 2013 the Department briefed the Committee on the outcome of this survey.
It also provided the Committee with a written progress report on the implementation of
the Committee's interim recommendations and a copy of its Used Tyre Action Plan. These
documents are included at appendix 2. The Department confirmed that it was its intention to
incorporate the Committee's final recommendations into its Used Tyre Action Plan.

Having received this further information from the Department the Committee has
subsequently reconsidered each of its twenty interim recommendations. This reconsideration
has led the Committee to revise its recommendations of which there are now twelve. The
detail of the Committee's reconsideration and the revised recommendations are set out on
pages 5 to 12.

Download the full report here

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