The UK produces around 55 million waste tyres a year. If not properly reused, recycled or disposed of, waste tyres can:
1. Harm the environment
2. Affect local communities, for example with flytipping and fires
Some criminals are charging people to collect their waste tyres and then illegally dumping or exporting them to avoid the costs of proper treatment. This can affect legitimate businesses who may be priced out of the market.
Illegally dumped tyres can pose a serious fire risk. Burning tyres can cause pollution, releasing toxic smoke and chemicals. The cost of fighting these fires and clearing up afterwards is high. Often private landowners are left paying the bill.
Fighting Illegal Disposal of Tyres
We are working with tyre retailers, disposers and their respective trade associations to make sure tyres are disposed of correctly. This will help them to meet the requirements of the waste duty of care.
Where tyres are disposed of illegally, we work with the police, local authorities and other partners to clear up the mess. This includes:
1. identifying who is dumping tyres
2. investigating patterns of dumping, where there are ongoing problems
3. sharing intelligence to disrupt, stop and prosecute those breaking the law
4. removing the tyres that have been dumped
5. making sure people know what is expected of them when disposing of tyres
The Environment Agency can serve stop notices to stop illegal tyre activity. Any company served with a stop notice must comply with the conditions which may include:
stopping them taking any more waste tyres at their site
removing existing stock piles to an authorised site
Making Use of Waste Tyres
There are a number of ways to reuse waste tyres. They can provide fuel for cement kilns or be turned into products like flooring, road surfaces, furniture and shoes. Bales of tyres can be used in the construction of modern engineered landfill sites and flood defences. If waste tyres are in good condition, they can be re-moulded and put back on the road as ‘re-treads’.