NSW EPA Crackdown on Tyre Retailers
Author: Ryan Collins
A month-long blitz on 258 tyre retailers across Sydney, the Hunter and the Illawarra by the NSW Environment Protection Authority (EPA) at the end of last year assessed compliance in lawfully disposing of unwanted tyres. It found 50 per cent of tyre retailers were unaware of their legal responsibility to ensure waste tyres are take to a lawful facility.
The blitz was part of a campaign to curb illegal stockpiling and dumping of tyres, and to reduce the risk of toxic blazes. Businesses that process and store waste tyres without the necessary operating approvals from local council or the EPA risk hefty fines and prosecution.
"From 1 October 2013, anybody caught illegally dumping in NSW is subject to tough new penalties that include jail time for repeat offenders and potential loss of vehicles used in illegal dumping activity," Environment Minister Robyn Parker said.
In Australia in 2009-10, the equivalent of 48 million tyres reached the end of life and the problem is growing. The majority of used tyres in Australia end up landfill (57%) or worse still exported, stockpiled, illegally dumped or have an unknown fate. If these were all recycled, it would be the equivalent greenhouse gas savings of driving a car 31 thousand times around the equator.
To ensure that the mechanic or garage you use recycles your tyres, you should check terms and conditions with vendors beforehand. BusinessRecycling's Choosing the Right Recycler Checklist and Factsheet also outlines the key questions you should ask a potential recycler to help you ensure they are doing the right thing environmentally and legally.
The NSW EPA provides more information on your responsibilities to dispose of tyres appropriately.