Companies from across the UK gathered in Leamington Spa for the TRA’s annual briefing day and conference on Wednesday 13 September. Over 50 businesses sent representatives to hear from the leading industry experts and analysts at a time that British tyre recycling stands “at a critical crossroads”. Many reportedly fear the imminent demise of the UK’S domestic tyre recycling industry if things do not change.
The fourth session of the virtual Tyre Industry Conference centred on tyre recycling and the circular economy in the year of coronavirus. Joined by the Tyre Recovery Association’s secretary general Peter Taylor OBE and Mark Murfitt, the managing director of the UK’s largest tyre recycler, Murfitts Industries, our discussion focused on issues affecting collection and processing of end of life tyres in the UK, the impact of the pandemic, the damage caused by non-compliance, and future developments in tyre recycling. The UK’s tyre recycling sector witnessed a number of investments in 2020 from companies such as the newly formed Norwegian outfit Wastefront’s intention to build a pyrolysis facility in Sunderland and the UK’s Powerhouse Energy Group’s Cheshire DMG syngas plant. So noticeable was this trend that Tyrepress published its first ever Digital Feature based largely on the trend – a magazine-style online feature collecting the latest news from the segment in one place. The interest in this unglamorous but vital segment would perhaps represent a surprise to some, but several developments led to this flurry of activity.
The “worst fears” of the Tyre Recovery Association have been confirmed by Environment Agency data confirming a rise in levels of non-compliance by many end-of-life tyre (ELT) claiming ‘T8 exemptions’ for their businesses. EA inspections conducted in the first eight months of 2020 showed almost 50 per cent of sites visited failed to meet legal requirements. This is considerably worse than comparative data from 2019. Inspections of almost sixty sites carried out by the EA across England last year revealed over one-third to be legally non-compliant. prices typically charged by recyclers to accept end of life tyres from collectors have almost doubled since the start of the year.
This autumn could bring with it a new rash of tyre dumping and site abandonment warns Britain’s Tyre Recovery Association (TRA). The association has warned that there are several factors of which the public, our regulators and the tyre trade should be aware. The TRA’s latest comments follow a previous warning that market conditions were likely to have such consequences earlier in the year.
The Tyre Recovery Association is urging the Environment Agency to be more vigilant about stockpiling waste tyres. The association is concerned that the current relaxation of stockpile permitting rules could lead to operators storing more waste tyres than they can handle. With recycling gate prices high and cashflow under enormous pressure, the temptation to accept unrealistic collection price offers is great. However, if the collector is unable to process waste tyres as a result, abandoned waste tyre stockpiles could become “an ugly and very expensive problem”, which could prove damaging to the reputation of the tyre business as a whole.
The Tyre Recovery Association has urged tyre retailers, vehicle dismantlers, and others who need to dispose of waste tyres to beware unrealistically low rates. Reprocessing costs are soaring, as Tyrepress previously reported, and measures by Asian authorities, especially in India, are countering the trade imbalance that has artificially lowered the cost of exporting waste tyres to the continent. Tyre Recovery Association secretary general Peter Taylor explains that rates hit historic lows over the past year or two due to often questionable treatment processes in the region.
When the rubber hits the…rubber: Highways England is trialling a new road surface using recycled tyres. The rubber-asphalt mix has been laid on a section of the M1 near Leicester and is now being evaluated for durability.
The Tyre Recovery Association (TRA) has announced its Recycling Day Forum will be held on 18 June 2019 at the Ardencote Manor Hotel, Warwick. The theme for this year’s event is ‘2020 and Beyond’ with guests from Europe and from the UK discussing the direction of tyre recycling in the future.
The Tyre Recovery Association (TRA) has announced the introduction of its Responsible Part Worn Tyre programme (RPWTP) at its 2018 forum day at the Belfry Hotel in Wishaw. The programme, introduced and strongly endorsed by Stefan Hay, chief executive of the National Tyre Distributors’ Association (NTDA) at the event, was detailed by Alan Bithell. The RPWTP has been designed with the purpose of raising standards of professionalism in retailers selling part-worn tyres, ensuring all tyres sold by participating retailers are legally compliant.
Measures announced in the Autumn Budget this week to increase the liability of illegal waste site operators have been welcomed by the Tyre Recovery Association (TRA). As of 1 April 2018, sites operating without the relevant environmental disposal permit, and those knowingly facilitating illegal waste disposal, will be liable to pay Landfill Tax and face fines amounting to an additional 100 per cent of the tax’s value. Operators of illegal sites will remain liable to criminal prosecution.