Operation of Waikato tire kingpin Alvin Cobb was restricted after failing to manage risk of fire. Ministry of Environment is working on national standards for waste tire storage, but Waikato Regional Council says they cannot come soon enough. Because of the current regulations, the council requested Otorohanga tire recycling plant, which possesses some 750,000 waste tires on its site, to seize receiving tires.

Alvin Cobb, the owner of the tire collection company, kept insisting that the tires posed no fire risk. Reportedly, tires were only subject to fire hazard in case of outstanding weather conditions.

Cobb collects tires from some 150 businesses in Waikato, then he presses them into bales, exports and sells them. At the same time, he takes some 750 tires per day to the Hampton Downs landfill. Cobb says that back in 2015 Otorohanga District Council allowed him to store up to one million waste tires on the landfill.

Right now Cobb takes waste tires of his customers straight to the dump. Regulations imposed by the council made it hard not only for Alvin’s business, but also for the businesses he collects tires from.

Council is requiring Cobb to apply for resource consent in order to resume tyre storage. Waikato Regional Council investigation and incident manager Patrick Lynch said the decision came after a site visit with the Fire Service. Concerns are that once the fire ignites – if at all – it would be extremely hard to extinguish it.

The council gave Alvin time to find out how to use waste tires, but the stockpiling has continued. Despite assertions that the market would be developed, nothing happened so far, officials say. Thus the council decided to draw the line. Ignition risks were the greatest concern, whereas storage requirements had not been followed.

Officials asserted that tire retailers still have alternatives and should be able to demonstrate to customers proper tyre disposal, “not that they’re just getting picked up by some dude with a trailer”.

Government expects to implement new regulations by the end of 2017.

Article source: www.stuff.co.nz