Levy to fund tyre disposal scheme

Minister to press for introduction of scheme next month despite industry objections

Minister for Environment Denis Naughten: consumers “must have confidence” fees for disposal of waste tyres are standardised and used for intended purpose. Photograph: Gareth Chaney/Collins

Details of a new regulatory system for disposal of "end-of-life" tyres have been announced by Minister for Environment Denis Naughten, who is to push on with its introduction on October 1st in spite of objections by the Irish tyre industry.

It 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 later for truck, construction and agricultural tyres. Bicycle tyres are not included as the quantities involved are relatively small.

These regulations build on the allocation of €1 million to clean up stockpiles of waste tyres – estimated at more than 750,000 tyres – illegally dumped around the countryside, which had the potential to cause toxic fire threats and damage to human health, the Minister said.



Tyre industry bodies have criticised the scheme previously, saying it would “do nothing to stem the stockpiles of illegally-dumped tyres” and would be weak on enforcement.

The new regulations will introduce a full compliance scheme to be operated by the waste recycling company Repak ELT with a registration and reporting role for the Producer Register Limited. It will be based on the producer responsibility model that has worked successfully for other waste streams such as packaging, batteries and waste electrical, electronic goods (WEEE).

Mr Naughten said: “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, Mr Naughten admitted. “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.”

Kevin O'Sullivan

Kevin O'Sullivan

Kevin O'Sullivan is Environment and Science Editor and former editor of The Irish Times