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Mayor wants scheme to stop tyre waste

Friday 18 May 2018

AKL Mayor wants mandatory product stewardship scheme to stop tyre waste

Auckland Mayor Phil Goff wants a new system which would stop the illegal dumping of tyres and tyres ending up in landfill.

Speaking at the opening of Waste Management NZ’s new tyre recycling facility plant in Wiri, Phil Goff said, “I welcome Waste Management NZ’s new tyre recycling facility in Auckland. At full capacity it will process 30,000 tonnes or 3 million tyres that would otherwise have ended up in landfill, stockpiled or dumped illegally.

Phil Goff also welcomed Government signals that it is actively looking at a mandatory product stewardship scheme and urged it to implement this as soon as possible.

A product stewardship scheme would build in the disposal cost of tyres into their purchase price and ensure all tyres are disposed of through accredited recyclers and disposal sites.

Mayor Goff said, “Instead of paying to dispose of tyres at the end of their life, the cost of proper disposal should be built into the purchase price and no charge placed on used tyres which are disposed of sustainably.

“Over five million used tyres enter our waste stream every year. They are not accepted in inorganic collections and because it costs money to dispose of them, many are dumped illegally and around 70 per cent end up in landfill which is wasteful and bad for the environment.

“Right across the Auckland region I see used tyres dumped in our waterways and bush and on country roads and reserve areas by irresponsible commercial operators and individuals. This has got to stop.

“Just recently, in my own area at Twilight Road, Council had to close the road and send abseilers down a steep gully at a cost of $21,000 of ratepayer money to clean up 1250 tyres dumped in the bush. Other tyres are stockpiled in rural areas and dumped in landfill constituting a fire and environmental risk.

“A mandatory product stewardship system would stop that. The cost of disposal would be built into the purchase price and tyres could be dropped off at recycling centres for free.

“Other countries such as Australia and Canada have adopted this system and it works. In Europe less than 5 per cent of tyres end up in landfill or are unaccounted for.

“Tyres can be repurposed for asphalt, playground matting and other purposes, or incinerated as fuel. I welcome Waste Management NZ’s investment in recycling tyres which makes the introduction of a product stewardship scheme relatively easy.

“Industry has called for a product stewardship system to be mandatory and responsible individuals and companies who pay for proper disposal will applaud the fact that a new stewardship system would strongly discourage lazy and irresponsible behaviour,” Phil Goff said.

ENDS

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