UK praised for its tyre recycling success at industry forum
A combination of successful partnerships, participation and proactive involvement from many organisations across the tyre and reprocessing industries has been critical to the success of the UK’s tyre recycling programme. This was one of the key messages delivered to a record number of attendees at the recent Tyre Recovery Association (TRA) annual forum, where delegates heard how the UK continues to successfully meet the EU’s Landfill Directive which bans the disposal of tyres in landfill sites. Furthermore, this success has been achieved through a completely market-based approach.
“We are delighted by the record attendance at this year’s TRA forum which reflects our industry’s commitment to the responsible recycling of used tyres in the UK,” comments Mike Wilson, President of the Tyre Recovery Association. “However, as delegates heard, we mustn’t rest on our laurels as we face a number of significant challenges over the coming years and we will only be able to overcome these if we continue to make a concerted and united effort.”
During the forum, delegates heard how the UK managed to reprocess some 479,000 tonnes of waste tyre materials in 2009. According to the presentation from the European Tyre & Rubber Manufacturers’ Association (ETRMA), only Germany, which has a vehicle parc approximately 30% bigger than the UK, recycled more tyres in 2009, reprocessing some 571,000 tonnes.
This year’s TRA forum was the association’s 7th annual meeting and was chaired by TRA Secretary General, Peter Taylor OBE. As well as hearing from the ETRMA, delegates also heard presentations from a wide range of organisations involved in tyre recycling including the UK’s Environment Agency, the Department for Business Innovation & Skills, tyre retailer HiQ, and retreader Bandvulc.
During the presentations, several key themes emerged regarding how the industry must adapt over the coming years.
Firstly, HiQ emphasised why tyre retailers need to improve how they communicate and educate their customers about their recycling efforts. It also explained how its network of 150 outlets manage this through both push and pull tactics such as franchise standards and point of sale materials.
The ETRMA outlined the main trends within Europe regarding tyre recycling including the evolution of end of life tyre recovery routes. For example, 40% of end of life tyres are now used for energy recovery. The association also outlined how a scarcity and high cost of raw materials will mean the industry has to face the challenge of turning even more waste tyres into a useful resource.
The Environment Agency reported on the success it has achieved in tackling major illegal waste tyre operations. Since its campaigning work with the tyre industry began just two years ago, it is now conducting ten major illegal waste tyre investigations including four UK operations and six cases of illegal export, potentially saving UK tax payers thousands of pounds in recovery and reprocessing fees. The Agency also emphasised how the industry has a vital role to play in providing intelligence which enables them to focus their resources effectively.
Delegates also heard how future changes in tyre technology could result in more materials being made available for recycling and how we may see a renaissance in tyre retreading.
“I would like to extend our thanks to everyone who attended and participated in this year’s forum,” commented Peter Taylor OBE, Secretary General, Tyre Recovery Association. “It was extremely encouraging to hear such passionate debate, ideas and discussion on a wide range of issues. We clearly have a high level of interest about tyre recycling in the UK and I am delighted that the TRA continues to play such an active and integral role in the sector.”
For more details about the Tyre Recovery Association, the UK’s Responsible Recycler Scheme or any of the issues discussed at the TRA forum, please contact Peter Taylor on 0845 3016852 or visit www.tyrerecovery.org.uk
The Tyre Industry Federation Responsible Recycler Scheme is a uniquely successful initiative set up to ensure that all used tyres collected from any designated premises are re-used or recycled in ways which comply with UK and European statutory regulations. It is the largest voluntary tyre recovery programme in Europe.
Scheme members are subject to regular spot audit and are subject to the Scheme Charter. Used tyres collected, handled or reprocessed by scheme members are tracked throughout the disposal chain so delivering full traceability and accountability. Assurance of ‘best practice’ at every stage in the process.
For more information on this release or to find out more about the TRA, contact Peter Taylor or Christine Joyce on 0845 301 6852.
Tyre Recovery Association – www.tyrerecovery.org.uk
T 01926 333245
M 07739 878365