A number of factors are combining to push up tyre recycling costs across the UK, leaders of the Tyre Recovery Association (TRA) and National Tyre Distributors Association (NTDA) are warning. Driven by a combination of regulatory changes as well as market conditions, professional used tyre collectors and reprocessors are encountering challenging times.
Peter Taylor, Secretary General of the TRA, whose members account for over 70% of all used tyre arisings in the UK, said: “First of all, we are not alone in facing increased fuel and operating costs, added to which is the latest increase in the minimum wage but these are just aspect of the upward cost pressures that we are experiencing.
“We, like other automotive waste streams, are encountering very significant costs stemming from new fire and site security guidelines imposed by the Environment Agency. These reduce capacity in many instances and put further significant pressure on costs which will all have to be passed on.
“The pressures on members do not end there. Add to this the current slowdown for tyre-derived fuel (TDF) in our Asian export markets and elsewhere due to a fourfold rise in shipping costs, and our problems start to become acute.
“We have been warning of these adverse factors for some time and now they are hitting us all at once,” said Taylor.
Stefan Hay, Chief Executive of the NTDA, said: “It would be all too easy at difficult times such as these for tyre distributors to fall in to the trap of using rogue collectors, many of whom will be operating, often in breach of and therefore illegally, under current S2 exemptions. The NTDA urges its members, and other reputable tyre businesses, to invest in the future and only use members of our industry partner body the TRA who have been audited by the TIF Responsible Recycler Scheme. Failure to do so will not only undermine the current collection infrastructure, but could also have a devastating long term impact on end of life tyre collection in the UK.”