Monday, February 26, 2024

Rubber hits the road on tyre project

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Safely disposing of used tyres is about to become better for the environment and easier for farmers.
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The first stage of government regulations designed to reduce environmental harm from unused tyres will take effect from March 1.

About 6.5 million tyres reach their end of life each year and the majority are either taken to landfills or dumped.

Tyrewise, New Zealand’s regulated product stewardship scheme for tyres will make it easier for the rural sector to safely dispose of everything from tyres on side-by-sides and utes to those found on tractors and harvesters, Adele Rose of Tyrewise Implementation project managers 3R Group said.

The first stage of regulation begins on March 1, when buyers will be charged a tyre stewardship fee when they purchase new tyres or vehicles imported with tyres. 

The fee will be used to manage those tyres at the end of their life.  It has been applied at a standard rate across the country, $6.65 (excluding GST) for a standard passenger tyre and will go up in increments depending on the size of tyre.

Existing ad hoc disposal fees may apply on any old tyres needing disposal up until September 1, 2024. After then Tyrewise will be responsible for arranging the free collection of end-of-life tyres from registered tyre sellers, garages and public collection sites.

The scheme will also ensure the tyres go to registered processors and manufacturers, so they get a second life in a new product, rather than being landfilled, stockpiled, or dumped.

“The rural sector has some unique challenges when it comes to end-of-life tyres due to the often-remote locations and the size of some of the tyres replaced off large machinery,” Rose said.

Tyrewise will work with rural service providers to enable backloading of the more difficult-to-collect tyres, making the process easier and more efficient, she said.

Tyrewise has set a target of 80% of tyres processed by the fourth year of operation and over 90% by the sixth year, Rose said. 

Currently only about 40% of end-of-life tyres in NZ are recycled or used in the creation of new products.

“Specially designed software will track the volumes collected and delivered to processors and manufacturers so that we can measure and report our progress against the targets,” she said.

“Our implementation team has been busy behind the scenes for months now, registering tyre importers, sellers, transporters, processors, and end market manufacturers, making sure everybody is ready to play their part. It’s amazing what you can achieve when an entire industry comes together to make a positive difference.”

The scheme will initially cover all air-filled and solid tyres for use on motorised vehicles for cars, trucks, buses, motorcycles, all-terrain vehicles, tractors, forklifts, aircraft and off-road vehicles. 

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