: The stockpile at Longford has been an environmental and public safety risk. Image source: (ABC News: Damian McIntyre)

The stockpile at Longford has been an environmental and public safety risk.
Image source: ABC News

For a massive pile of scrap tires in Northern Tasmania, which is causing a fire and public health risk, there is still no final solution to be seen – in spite of the opening of a new tire shredding plant. The new facility has begun to shred tires at Bridgewater in the country’s south. In order for the plant to be able to meet Tasmania’s annual tire waste demand, its license needs to be extended from 300,000 to 450,000 tires. However, operator Barwick is confident that the Environmental Protection Authority will grant them this approval.

Still, 800,000 tires are remaining in a stockpile at Longford, for which Tyrecycle – a national tire recycling company – is hoping to close a deal with the Government – they have already spent more than $1.5 million for shredding 300,000 tonnes of tires from the stockpile.

CEO Jim Fairweather is confident, that the new plant has the capacity for the stockpile, as long as it is being funded – regardless if publicly of privately.

“Should an appropriate funding model become available we are ready, willing and able to either process the tyres at Brighton or remobilise our mobile shredder up there,” he said.

“We have a proposal with government to do that. The simple plain hard truth is somebody has to pay to do that.”

However, Fairweather also admits, that it will be cheaper, nevertheless, to continue throwing away tires at the existing stockpile, than collecting them for shredding.

“To collect a tyre, to process it, load it in to a truck, take it to Melbourne, process it a bit more and turn it into something is a lot more expensive than picking up a tyre and putting it in a paddock,” he said.

“I would urge consumers to demand their retailers explain to them what happens with their waste tyres.”

In the past when the stockpile at Longford had grown into the millions tires, it raised concerns for the safety and health of people. A thick cloud of smoke lingered for days over the city.

Longford tire depot fire back in 2012 Image source: www.examiner.com.au

Longford tire depot fire back in 2012
Image source: www.examiner.com.au

Tyre Recycle Tasmania’s license for storing at Longford is expiring in December and Tim Chugg, the company director, is convinced the pile’s days are numbered. According to him, Tyre Recycle Tasmania is planning to establish an on-site tyre recycling plant and would not mind to compete with the southern facility.

Tim Chugg, company director at Tyre Recycle Tasmania, is convinced the pile’s days are numbered Image source: www.examiner.com.au

Tim Chugg, company director at Tyre Recycle Tasmania, is convinced the pile’s days are numbered
Image source: www.examiner.com.au

“It means we lose a little of business, but that’s the nature of the beast,” he said.

“We have development applications in the pipeline, we have markets in place. We’re just waiting for [development applications) to go through council and then we’ll be in a position to establish a full-blown tyre recycling industry within the state.”

Article source: ABC