UK tyre associations warn of increasing recycling costs
The cost of tyre recycling in the UK is being pushed up by regulatory changes and other market conditions, according to the Tyre Recovery Association (TRA) and the National Tyre Distributors Association (NTDA). The changing environment is making it more difficult for professional used tyre collectors and reprocessors to succeed in their roles, the groups said.
Peter Taylor, secretary general of the TRA, whose members account for over 70% of all used tyre collection in the UK, commented: “First of all, we are not alone in facing increased fuel and operating costs, added to which is the latest increase in the minimum wage, but these are just aspects of the upward cost pressures that we are experiencing.” Taylor added: “We, like other automotive waste streams, are encountering very significant costs stemming from new fire and site security guidelines imposed by the Environment Agency. These reduce capacity in many instances and put further significant pressure on costs, which will all have to be passed on.”
The current slowdown for tyre-derived fuel in Asian export markets is also putting pressure on the associations’ members. A fourfold rise in shipping costs has increased the problem, according to the TRA.
Taylor explained: “We have been warning of these adverse factors for some time and now they are hitting us all at once.” Stefan Hay, chief executive of the NTDA, added: “It would be all too easy at difficult times such as these for tyre distributors to fall in to the trap of using rogue collectors, many of whom will be operating, often in breach of and therefore illegally, under current S2 exemptions. The NTDA urges its members, and other reputable tyre businesses, to invest in the future and only use members of our industry partner body the TRA who have been audited by the TIF Responsible Recycler Scheme. Failure to do so will not only undermine the current collection infrastructure, but could also have a devastating long-term impact on endof-life tyre collection in the UK.”