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Panorama investigation highlights the importance of using responsible recyclers

A major investigation by BBC TV’s flagship current affairs programme, Panorama, has highlighted the importance of garages, tyre retailers and vehicle dismantlers using responsible recyclers for the collection of their waste tyres.

In the programme broadcast on 16th July, it showed how large quantities of tyres are being illegally dumped each year in the UK by unscrupulous and rogue collectors, resulting in huge clean up bills for UK taxpayers and landowners.

“The Tyre Recovery Association’s Responsible Recycler Scheme plays a vital role in the legal and environmentally friendly disposal of waste tyres in UK,” explains Peter Taylor, secretary general, Tyre Recovery Association. “This latest investigation perfectly illustrates why such a scheme is necessary. It also shows the scale of devastation and criminality that results from those intent on operating outside of the law.”

Currently, more than 80 percent of the 55 million used tyres generated in the UK are processed via the Responsible Recycler Scheme. The scheme ensures full traceability and accountability of waste tyres throughout the disposal chain, from collection through to their final reuse in an environmentally friendly or acceptable method.

Under the EU landfill directive introduced in 2006, it has been illegal to send waste tyres to landfill. Instead, they are now used in a wide range of applications including construction bales, sports surfaces, fuel for cement kilns and sound barriers amongst others.

Members of the Responsible Recycler Scheme are subject to regular annual audits, ensuring they fully comply with all relevant environmental legislation.

“All those involved with end of life tyres should take particular note of this latest investigation,” continues Taylor. “To avoid becoming complicit in any waste tyre crimes, retailers must be certain that they know their collector operates within the confines of the law. They should check to see if they are a member of the Responsible Recycler Scheme, with the assurance that they have the necessary authorisation and permits from the Environment Agency to be collecting and storing tyres.”

The Panorama investigation exposed the consequences of major tyre crime and also showed how waste tyres are being exported illegally to countries such as Vietnam where they are burned in uncontrolled environments, causing widespread pollution



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