Tire stockpile in Stawell, Australia. Photo: Stawell Times

Proprietors of tire stockpiles and scrap tire dumps have been notified by Environment Protection Authority (EPA) Victoria about the fire perils that tire accumulations can pose when stored during summertime. The owners have also received warnings about possible detriment scrap tires can have on human health.

According to representative of the EPA’s Illegal Waste Disposal Strikeforce, Chris Webb, burning grass and bushfires can pose extreme danger on its own, even when there are no accumulation of waste tires in sight. Given tire fire’s almost incontrollable nature and its capacity to create unsafe smoke due to its chemical content, this type of fire can pose more substantial dangers than grassfire.

The stored tires bring a number of hazards to the site owner’s life as well as it endangers the lives of the people who reside in vicinity.

Occasionally, scrap tires can be used to facilitate farming as they can hold down tarps, but, principally, these accumulations simply endanger the environment.

According to EPA Victoria, tire incineration and dumping are unlawful practices, and the wasted tires shouldn’t be used for erosion control. EPA warns that the overlong storing of decaying tires leads to pollution of the soil and groundwater.

Since 2015, Victoria witnessed a substantial decline in tire accumulations thanks to EPA’s introduction of more severe control measures. If tire accumulation exceeds the number of 5,000, this stockpile will need to be authorized and will need to have adequate firefighting equipment on site. Moreover, there are limits on the accumulation’s size, and certain distance between scrap tires has to be maintained.

Landowners are now encouraged by EPA’s Illegal Waste Disposal Strikeforce to provide assistance in solving the issue of tire accumulations. The organization asked the proprietors to ensure that the tires are disposed of in a legal way.

Victoria hosts a number of tire recycling companies. EPA managed to collaborate with some of them and helped to recycle a substantial number of waste tires taken from Stawell. The organization has already legally challenged the site proprietors.

According to Webb, EPA has the capacity to initiate court cases and fine owners for illegal scrap tire disposal, however the organization strongly appreciates when landowners take responsibility and abide the law.

Article Source: Waste Management Review