A decline in Australia’s recovery of tyres, according to Tyre Stewardship Australia (TSA), is expected to amplify negative economic and environmental impacts.
TSA highlighted a 10 per cent decrease in Australia’s recovery of tyres with reference to 2022-23 tyre recovery data.
This decrease is in stark contrast to TSA’s report in 2019-20 which found 90 per cent of tyres being recovered nationwide.
The 10 per cent decrease in 2023 means 11.3 million used tyres are stockpiled, illegally dumped or hidden on private land or industrial sites.
Australia is in the top 20 countries for vehicles per capita with more than 20 million registered vehicles and 85 million tyres in use.
Unrecovered tyres hold an economic and environmental impact according to TSA. With 20 per cent of unrecovered tyres per year in Australia, the economic and environmental risks are said to amplify.
TSA reported regional and rural regions are most affected by unrecovered tyres due to the social cost.
Tyres left unrecovered increase the risk of mosquito-borne diseases, toxic fires and contaminate the environment.
“It’s the trifecta you don’t want,” said TSA CEO, Lina Goodman. “The new data reveals that the economic, social and environmental cost that our communities are footing the bill for is only going to get worse.”
TSA has called on the State and Federal Government to help guide the growing issue, while minimising the ownership for local communities and councils. Federal and State Environment Ministers are united in keeping waste tyres on their agendas to tackle the remaining 20 per cent margin.
TSA acknowledges there is room for improvement and encourages a well-tested and regulated ‘all -in, all-tyre’ product stewardship scheme. This scheme would replace the current ‘opt-in, opt-out’ approach.
“An ‘all-in’ scheme means no tyre is left by the wayside which is good news for local government and rate payers, especially regional and remote Australians, who are disproportionately impacted when it comes to dealing with dumped and stockpiled used tyres in their communities,” said Goodman.
TSA, State and Federal Governments will continue to focus on the unrecovered tyre issue.
The Tyre Stewardship Scheme is reported to provide an Australian Competition and Consumer Commission (ACCC) authorised industry framework to effectively reduce the environmental, health and safety impacts of the 56 million Equivalent Passenger Units (EPUs) which reach the end of their life in Australia each year.
On 20 January 2014, Minister for the Environment, Greg Hunt, joined tyre industry leaders in Melbourne to announce a new initiative to encourage sustainable use of Australia’s end-of-life tyres.
Hunt announced the formation of TSA and the national Tyre Product Stewardship Scheme to promote the increase in environmentally sustainable collection and recycling processes and to explore and promote new uses for and products using recycled end-of-life tyres.
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