Min­is­ter ‘tack­ling tyre dumps’

Irish Examiner - County - - Front page - Eoin English

The En­vi­ron­ment Min­is­ter, De­nis Naugh­ten, says he is do­ing ev­ery­thing pos­si­ble to tackle the waste-tyre-dump­ing scan­dal, af­ter stu­dents col­lected 75 tyres and three tonnes of rub­bish dur­ing a beach clean.

Min­is­ter Naugh­ten took to Twit­ter to praise the stu­dents of St Col­man’s Col­lege, in Mi­dle­ton, for their heroic beach-clean ef­forts and said that he hopes to in­tro­duce, in the week ahead, a new levy to fund tyre dis­posal.

The stu­dents were among thou­sands around the coun­try who took part in a ‘big beach clean’ event last week.

They tar­geted Bally­brani­gan beach, south-west of Bal­ly­cot­ton, in East Cork.

Dur­ing the course of their day-long op­er­a­tion, they col­lected a stag­ger­ing 75 tyres, 117 bags of rub­bish, and in­dus­trial fish­ing equip­ment, in­clud­ing nets and as­so­ci­ated gear, from a stretch of coast­line just over one kilo­me­tre long.

Cork County Coun­cil was called in to help re­move the vast quan­ti­ties of waste from the beach, and the tyres were re­moved by truck for re­cy­cling.

The stu­dents posted pho­tos of the ma­te­rial on Twit­ter, prompt­ing Mr Naugh­ten to Tweet his thanks and con­grat­u­la­tions.

But he also said he was do­ing all he could to re­duce the prob­lem of tyre waste in Ire­land and he flagged me­dia re­ports about how he is push­ing for the in­tro­duc­tion of a new reg­u­la­tory sys­tem for dis­posal of ‘end-of-life’ tyres.

De­spite ob­jec­tions from the Irish tyre in­dus­try, the min­is­ter hopes to in­tro­duce the scheme on Oc­to­ber 1.

It will be funded by a ‘vis­i­ble man­age­ment cost’ (vEMC) of €2.80 per car tyre and €1.50 per mo­tor­bike tyre.

Fur­ther vEMCs will be in- later, for truck, con­struc­tion, and agri­cul­tural tyres. Bi­cy­cle tyres are not in­cluded in the scheme, be­cause the quan­ti­ties in­volved are small.

The min­is­ter’s depart­ment has al­ready al­lo­cated €1m to clean up the es­ti­mated 750,000 waste tyres that have been il­le­gally dumped around the coun­try.

But he said: “In the fu­ture, I do not want to have to use pub­lic fi­nances — de­rived from taxes on the same con­sumers — to clean up tyres that are il­le­gally dumped in our coun­try­side and rivers.

“The con­sumer must have con­fi­dence that fees they are pay­ing for the proper dis­posal of their waste tyres are stan­dard­ised and used for their in­tro­duced tended pur­pose.”

The pro­posal will in­volve a full-compliance scheme op­er­ated by Repak, along the same lines as schemes al­ready op­er­at­ing for pack­ag­ing, bat­ter­ies, and waste electronic and elec­tri­cal goods.

Work­ing ‘tire­lessly’: Stu­dents from St Col­man’s Col­lege, Mi­dle­ton, who were in­volved in the Clean Coasts beach clean in East Cork.

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