Photo: Paul Taylor, New Zealand Herald

New Zealand’s government may soon present an efficient solution for getting rid of tires dumped at rivers, which would become a decent alternative to the method put forward by Hawke’s Bay tire fitters that sees sending of almost 200 tires per week to Asia for further recycling

According to Mag and Tyre Warehouse Hastings owner, Tony Kelly, he handled on average not less than 150 tires each week, which was possible due to tire recycling fee imposed on customers. However, not all businesses operated in the same manner, as they had to pay their own money to collect and send tires abroad for recycling.

Recently, New Zealand’s cement businesses succeeded in using scrap tires and transforming them into road construction products. Nevertheless, the prevailing part of waste tires undergo further recycling in Asian countries.

Moreover, the proper disposal of tires is impossible without intervention of tire retailer. Thus, many tires are left as waste on roads and in rivers. The problem is that several tire fitters charged additional disposal fee, and drivers as customers were often reluctant to pay extra.

According to Kelly, the issue has become huge in the country and the involvement of the authorities is now a must. The dominant part of old tires in Hawke’s Bay were handled by the tire businesses without assistance of the authorities, a Hastings District Council spokeswoman said.

He noted that the Omarunui Landfill and the Henderson Road Refuse Transfer Station did not accept tires from the public or tire businesses. The landfill would take tires only if certain conditions are met and if they are endorsed by the government.

A financial reserve has been developed at the Omarunui Landfill, which allows to handle tires collected at the site. This step is seen as important as it secures the availability of funds which could be used for further tire shredding after which the materials could be sent to disposal operations that are supported by the authorities.

The funds for the reserve come from a $1 fee imposed for one ton that is included in the gate fee for waste that the landfill receives.

Earlier, Associate Environment Minister Eugenie Sage said that the Cabinet endorsed an initiative tackling waste – it will consider management of waste that landfills receive in a more efficient way, as well as improving waste data collection and expansion of product stewardship projects that could better control tire disposal.

In July, remit calling for an obligatory product stewardship scheme for tires received great support, Local Government New Zealand president Dave Cull said.

According to a Hawke’s Bay Regional Council spokeswoman, the council promoted application of longer wear tires on its vehicle fleet which could prevent frequent replacement of tires.

Article by New Zealand Herald