3R Group Ltd
New Zealand has edged one step closer to solving its ever-mounting problem with end of life tyres.
Auckland Mayor Phil Goff today welcomed comments from Associate Minister for the Environment Eugenie Sage on the
declaration of end of life tyres as a priority product. This would see the establishment of New Zealand’s first
mandatory product stewardship scheme for end of life tyres as recommended by Tyrewise, and would be the first time a NZ
government has announced a priority product.
Adele Rose, Chief Executive of 3R Group, which leads the Tyrewise project, joined Mr Goff in his call for the scheme.
“Industry is on board with Tyrewise and are ready to go once end of life tyres are declared a priority product,” Mrs
Tyrewise presented a report to the then National Government in 2013 laying out the framework for the scheme, which would
build the cost of disposal into the purchase price of tyres. Such a scheme would “totally disincentivise either landfill
or dumping or stockpiling (of end of life tyres),” Mr Goff says.
The calls come as the minister opened Waste Management’s new tyre recycling facility in Auckland today. In her address
she said work was needed for a mandatory product stewardships scheme for tyres. “The Ministry for the Environment is
working on the best options for developing that,” she says.
Waste Management’s new facility received $3.85 million from the Waste Minimisation Fund in 2017. It will be able to
process 15,000 tonnes of end-of-life tyres in the first 24 months and reach full capacity of 30,000 tonnes or around
three million passenger tyres a year after 36 months.
“It’s great to see a facility like this which will begin to address the huge issue of end of life tyres in New Zealand.
Priority product status would pave the way for further large-scale solutions for turning end of life tyres from waste
into a resource,” Mrs Rose says.
The total volume of tyres (car, truck, aircraft etc) which come to the end of their useful life in New Zealand each year
is currently equivalent to over 7.75 million passenger tyre equivalents – some 73,700 tonnes worth.
No real solutions for end of life tyres in New Zealand have led to millions stockpiled around the country, posing a
significant harm to people and the environment, Mrs Rose says. “You just have look at some of the recent tyre pile fires
to see how big of a risk they pose. End of life tyres also represent a huge potential resource that is lost when they
burn or are put in landfill.”
Tyrewise was set up in 2012 to provide a framework for the development of a stewardship programme to manage end of life
tyres in New Zealand. It was signed off and presented to then Minister for the Environment, Nick Smith, in August 2013.
However, the then government proceeded with an investment strategy to secure markets for end of life tyres, postponing
any decision about declaring tyres a priority product.
For more on Tyrewise visit www.tyrewise.co.nz