Denis Naughten, TD, Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment has signed the new Waste Management (Tyres and Waste Tyres) Regulations 2017 which will introduce new regulatory structures for the tyre sector with effect from 1st October 2017.

These regulations build on the allocation of €1million to clean up stockpiles of waste tyres, which are illegally dumped around the countryside, potentially causing toxic fire threats and damage to human health.

In addition to cleaning up recklessly dumped stockpiles of tyres, the Minister says he has introduced these regulations to stem the problem. The new regulations for the tyre sector will introduce a full compliance scheme to be operated by Repak ELT with a registration and reporting role for the Producer Register Limited (PRL). The scheme will be based on the Producer Responsibility model that has worked successfully in this country for other waste streams such as packaging, batteries and waste electrical, electronic goods (WEEE).

The new structures will be funded by a visible Environmental Management Cost (vEMC) of €2.80 per car tyre and €1.50 per motorcycle tyre. Further vEMCs will be introduced in due course for truck, construction and agricultural tyres.

Minister Denis Naughten states: “Fees for the collection and management of waste tyres are currently charged – I have evidence of them ranging between €1.50 and €3.50 – but the level of tyres being dumped around the country suggests that these fees do not always end up funding that for which they are intended i.e. the environmentally sound management of tyres. Setting this vEMC in regulation will formalise and standardise this existing charge that the consumer already pays when purchasing new tyres and will ensure that waste tyres are disposed of legally.”

“My intention in introducing this fee has always been clear: The consumer must have confidence that fees they are paying for the proper disposal of their waste tyres are standardised and 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.”

“There is a lack of information in relation to the tyre market in Ireland. These regulations will place a reporting obligation on tyre operators to provide data on the numbers of tyres coming on and off the market. This will be the first time that there will be clarity,” added Minister Naughten.

“A report published by the Department of the Environment, Community and Local Government found that a significant proportion of waste tyres were not being accounted for (with many being illegally dumped) and a lack of consistent and accurate data on tyres. Capturing data from all tyre operators will be an important step in addressing this,” stated Minister Naughten.

The Minister listened to concerns raised by all stakeholders in the formulation of these regulations. The greatest concern voiced to him from all quarters was in relation to the enforcement of the regulations. In this regard, the Minister said:

“I fully recognise the concerns expressed to me in relation to enforcement. Tyres are one of the five priority areas as agreed by the National Waste Enforcement Steering Committee  and I have made €9 million available this year in relation to waste 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