Minister ‘tackling tyre dumps’
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.