New regulations governing tyre disposal come into force

New regulations governing the disposal of used tyres have come into force.

Minister for Environment Denis Naughten last month announced details of the scheme for end-of-life tyres aimed at reducing illegal dumping.

A scheme for the disposal of tyres will now be operated by waste recycling company Repak ELT, and the Producer Register Ltd will be responsible for registration and reporting on the regulations.

A “visible environmental management cost” (vEMC) of €2.80 per car tyre and €1.50 per motorcycle tyre will be used to fund its operation.

The changes have been opposed by tyre industry groups who say they will do nothing to deter people from dumping tyres, and will be unenforceable.

Further levies are due to be introduced for truck, construction and agriculture tyres at a later stage, but bicycle tyres will be exempt.

It is estimated that more than 750,000 waste tyres lay dumped across the country, an issue that is illustrated by the recent discovery of 200 tyres at the scenic Featherbeds location in the Dublin Mountains.

A cleanup operation involving local authorities, the National Parks and Wildlife Service, Coillte and environmental group Pure is ongoing in the area this morning.

Speaking last year, Minister for Rural and Community Development Michael Ring said he was shocked to see the level of dumping in the Featherbeds when it was acquired by the State as part of the planned expansion of the Wicklow Mountains National Park.

Commenting on the new regulations, 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.

He added: “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.

“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.”

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