Committee tells Department to Tighten Up on Used Tyre Disposal

Session: 2011/2012

Date: 15 May 2012

Reference: ENV 09/11/12

The Northern Ireland Assembly Committee for the Environment has told the Department to put in place legislation to tighten up the law on used tyre disposal as part of its interim report on Used Tyre Disposal, published today.

The Committee’s report makes a number of important recommendations to help address the problem of illegally dumped tyres, including a new registration scheme, the possibility in the longer term of a producer responsibility initiative and more accurate reporting and monitoring of tyre disposal.

Committee Chair Anna Lo MLA said: “The Committee believes the first step the Department should take is to put in place legislation that requires all organisations involved in tyres – production, replacement and recycling – to register with a compliance scheme. This scheme would enable better tracking and enforcement of used tyres.

“If the Department was also to publish lists of registered businesses we believe it would make it much easier for people to ensure they were using legal and responsible operators. Such a system would also free up Department resources to focus on illegal activity which is where the biggest risks lie.”

As well as highlighting some short-term fixes for the Department to look at, our report also recommends longer-term solutions.

Committee Deputy Chair Simon Hamilton MLA added: “The Committee would like the Department to look into a Producer Responsibility Scheme as a long-term solution. This is the solution used by most European countries. It requires manufactures of tyres to demonstrate they have recovered and safely disposed of the same amount of used tyres as they have produced new ones.

“However, to avoid a cross-border disparity this solution must be looked at closely since a producer responsibility scheme could be counterproductive unless introduced both sides of the border.”

The Committee’s report is an interim report while it waits for the Department of the Environment to provide accurate figures for the number of used tyres in circulation.  It promised to conduct a Waste Data Survey back in September 2011 but it has taken longer than expected to do this.

Anna Lo concluded: “It is important to fully understand the level of problem we are facing before we can identify the most appropriate solutions.  We will be maintaining pressure on the Department to deliver this information.”

The Committee’s report is available to read on the Assembly website

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