The Australian tyre industry will get behind two new initiatives to tackle the growing stockpile of used tyres in Australia.
Federal Minister for the Environment, Greg Hunt, announced the formation of the Tyre Stewardship Australia program this week, along with the Tyre Product Stewardship Scheme.
Each year, 48 million tyres are disposed of in Australia, with only 16 percent of those currently being recycled.
The new schemes aim to encourage the expansion of current recycling programs, along with research into new methods to reuse discarded tyres.
At present, most tyres find their way into landfill upon the end of their serviceable life, with many more being illegally dumped or stockpiled at non-landfill sites.
Chairman of Tyre Stewardship Australia, Gerry Morvell, said that current practices for disposing of end-of-life tyres were damaging the environment and creating health and fire hazards.
“This Scheme will provide a framework to effectively reduce the environmental, health and safety impacts of the 48 million tyres which reach the end of their life in Australia each year. It gives the Australian tyre industry the opportunity to show strong environmental and product stewardship leadership.”
Current uses for end-of-life tyres include road surfacing, soft-fall playground surfacing, motorsport crash barriers, brake pads, roadside reflectors, industrial and commercial flooring and as fuel for energy recovery.
The scheme is voluntary and led by the tyre industry, with authorisation from the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC).