Feedback Sought for UK Tyre Recycling Protocol
A Quality Protocol, aimed at making the reprocessing of tyres into products such as flooring, road surfacing, aggregates and footwear a more straightforward and affordable process for industry, has been released for public consultation by WRAP (Waste & Resources Action Programme) and the Environment Agency.
Since the EU Landfill Directive came into effect alternate waste management options have been sought for the more than 100,000 end of life tyres removed from UK vehicles every day – a quantity that over the course of the year accumulates to an amount that Martin Brocklehurst, head of external waste programmes at the Environment Agency, attempts to illustrate: “Placed end to end, the annual tyre waste of England and Wales would stretch from London to Cardiff more than 100 times,” he said. “With so many cars, vans and trucks discarding tyres, we have potential to access more than 40,000 tonnes of recycled rubber.”
Under the proposed Quality Protocol, fully processed used tyres would be classified as a “product” rather than as waste, alleviating the necessity for waste licences or exemptions to be obtained before engaging in the handling, storage or use of processed end of life tyres. “A Quality Protocol could save businesses the time and costs associated with meeting waste regulations, by clearly defining the standards required to collect, transport, store, recycle and reuse rubber tyres, without harming human health and the environment,” added Brocklehurst.
Dr. Richard Swannell, director of Retail and Organics Programmes at WRAP believes that the Quality Protocol has the potential to stimulate growth in the reprocessing sector, thereby “providing easier access to an important resource with a significant number of applications.” He added that WRAP is keen to hear comments and feedback about these proposals. The closing date for submissions regarding the Quality Proposal for Tyre-Derived Rubber Materials is 31 March, 2008.