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National’s Toxic Tyre Plan Grossly Irresponsible

Denis O’Rourke MP

New Zealand First

Environment Spokesperson
28 JUNE 2017

National’s Toxic Tyre Plan Grossly Irresponsible

The government’s toxic plan to burn tyres is environmentally unsound and a waste of public money, says New Zealand First Environment Spokesperson Denis O’Rourke.

“National is handing over $3.8 million to Chinese-owned Waste Management NZ to collect and shred old tyres in Auckland and Christchurch which is a basically just a hand-out to a foreign owned and controlled company.

“Then they are giving a further $13.6 million to Golden Bay Cement to burn the tyres in a cement kiln at a proposed plant in the Golden Bay area which will alarm the people of that area.

“Cement kilns are not designed to filter toxic emissions and burning tyres in them will create serious toxic and greenhouse gas emissions.

“Tyres are made up of synthetic or sometimes natural rubber, carbon black, steel wire, textile and various chemicals, including copper compounds, zinc compounds, cadmium, lead, acidic solutions and organohalogens.

“The ‘nasties’ as Environment Minister Nick Smith calls them, will not ‘broken down.’

“In pushing this plan Dr Smith is being grossly irresponsible handing out money to a foreign owned company, risking people’s health and allowing a plant which will operate counter to our Paris Agreement obligations to reduce carbon dioxide for climate change purposes.

“Instead of burning tyres, the government should be investing in recycling them.

“Carbon black, steel, and valuable oils can be extracted for export, and the methane produced during the process can be collected and used to power the recycling plant itself,” says Mr O’Rourke.


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