94% of Dealers Pay Tyre Collectors 51p – £1
Following suggestions that tyre dealers have been profiteering from the green fee they charge customers for worn tyre disposal, the NTDA has released survey results that are said to counter that position. One key criticism levelled against the retail trade was that they are paying recovery agents as little as 47p per car tyre, so one question on the survey asked how much members were paying. 94 per cent said they were paying between 51p and £1.00.
On the subject of green fee charges, 86 per cent of member respondents itemised the charge as a separate item on the invoice. Most internet sites charge £1.50 for disposal. Of those who did make a charge, 43 per cent charged the motorist between 50p and £1, 47 per cent charged between £1.01 and £1.50 and the remaining 10 per cent charged over £1.50. However, Tyrepress.com’s own anecdotal Question of the Month data suggests that there is still some feeling amongst readers that the green fee is too low.
The NTDA’s recent membership poll on the scrap tyre charges issue saw and “exceptionally high” level or response, according to director Richard Edy, which he believes, illustrates the importance of this subject to tyre dealers and how seriously they take their environmental responsibilities.
The first question asked was whether disposal charges paid to recovery agents over the past six months had increased, decreased or stayed the same. 69 per cent said they had remained the same, while 28 per cent said that charges had gone up.
The executive council discussed the results at their meeting last week and unanimously agreed that in the past month most retailers present, who replied that they had seen no change to their collection charges, now reported that there had been increases imposed in the past few weeks further reinforcing the upward trend in rates.
Similar questions were asked regarding truck tyres. 9 per cent paid their recovery agent less than £5.00 per tyre, 38 per cent between £5.01 and £7.50, 9 per cent paid up to £9.50 and 3 per cent paid over this figure. 41 per cent of respondents did not handle truck tyres.
89 per cent of truck tyre green fees between £7.01 and £9.50
89 per cent of those selling truck tyres charged a green fee, with the vast majority (63%) in the £7.01 to £9.50 bracket. 21 per cent charged less and 13 per cent charged more than £9.50. 6 per cent did not respond. Charges to account or fleet customers were broadly similar, with a slightly higher percentage (25 per cent) charging below £7.50. 100 per cent of those charging a green fee showed it as a separate item on the invoice.
Members were invited to add comments to the survey and a common theme was that any “difference” between green fee charge and disposal payment was justified in offsetting bulk storage and loading costs and multiple manual handling involved? Some members cited recent price increases made by recovery agents and, looking ahead, the consensus was that collection charges would continue to rise. Another cost is that of disposing of tyres fly-tipped onto dealers’ premises and a separate NTDA survey revealed that, while this is not common, it is an issue for some members. As an aside, none of those who had been a victim of this practice had formally reported the incident(s) to the EA or Local Authority, saying that they “weren’t interested”.
On fly-tipping generally, over half (53%) thought that the level was staying the same, while 29 per cent thought it was on the increase. The remaining 18 per cent expressed no opinion.
Allegations that tyre dealers are ignoring their environmental responsibilities and using “cowboy” collectors are not borne out by the survey, as 82 per cent of respondents said that they were aware of the Responsible Recycling Scheme. Of these, 93 per cent said that they used a RRS member to collect their scrap tyres.
Commenting on the survey, Richard Edy said: “It dispels some of the nonsensical rates being quoted for green fee charges and collection payments and refutes the scare-mongering emanating from some quarters.”
What are the prospects for collection and disposal? NTDA chairman David White described the sector as “a complex and changeable market that is susceptible to the fluctuations of its various elements and the many, differing, commercial interests.” He went on: “Whenever there have been significant changes market forces eventually bring back equilibrium. The fundamental issue as to whether there is sufficient capacity for the final destination of these tyres remains the same? I believe that there are a number of emerging technologies which together with existing opportunities such as incorporation of rubber crumb into road surfaces that should provide that future capacity.
“Given the winter impact on roads, I understand that incorporation of rubber crumb, whilst adding cost, provides a more durable surface also less likely to result in potholes, which has to be a winner.”
In conclusion the chairman said: “Finally, because the casing life cycle and collection/recovery market has so many stakeholders the Used Tyre Working Group provides an important impartial focus on the activity and forces within the sector.”