Temporary measures to be introduced to address growing scrap heaps.
The recent Recircle Awards 2021 that recognised the global efforts of the retreading and recycling community, introduced us to some highly creative initiatives and products derived from end-of-life tyres. Sadly, South Africa did not feature, for one simple reason. The collection process around waste tyres is all but inadequate at this time, which in turn, adversely hinders the ability for recyclers to come up with inventive means of re-purposing them.
Worse still, with no legitimate waste plan in sight, scrap tyre heaps continue to mount, as the Waste Bureau struggles to perform the task to which they were temporarily assigned, with grave
consequences for the environment and industry at large.
“The efficient collection of tyres is important, in order to ensure operations for manufacturers and the tyre retail sector are not impacted,” claimed Nduduzo Chala, Managing Executive for the South African Tyre Manufacturers Conference (SATMC).
This is not only critical for the environment, but also for the tyre sector, in that it creates a further challenge, with these waste tyres finding their way back into the market and being sold as second hand/part-worn tyres,” he said. Recently the SATMC and its members conducted an industry wide survey that revealed that 63% of the part-worn tyres were in fact, waste tyres and therefore illegal to be sold or to be on the road as per the National Road Traffic Act.
As a result, the SATMC is currently engaging with the Department of Environment, Forestry and Fisheries (DEFF), which is the custodian of the Waste Tyre Plan, to implement urgent actions to address these tyre stockpiles, (this, also in conjunction with the Waste Bureau (WB)), who are administering the Waste Tyre Plan. Chala claimed that an operational roll out plan is being discussed by the parties, which will look at addressing the immediate and medium-term actions required, in the absence of an approved Waste Tyre Management Plan.
ROLL OUT PLAN EXPLAINED
The proposed roll out plan encompasses four distinct plans of action:
Temporary usage of landfills
In the interim, the WB is allegedly facilitating temporary sites to store waste tyres, with primary focus on regions experiencing capacity constraints.
Interim storage facilities
The WB is also in discussion with other industries, such as cement companies and industrial development zones for the storage and utilisation of waste tyres.
Municipal unused or development sites
In the mid-to-long term, the WB is apparently also in discussions with certain municipalities to facilitate the identification and opening of additional sites for waste tyre storage.
Procurement of depot sites and equipment
Infrastructure management and budget requirements remain an important aspect to ensuring adequate service levels to the tyre sector (which pays the Waste Tyre Levy to Treasury), and so
industry is urgently appealing for those funds to service the requirements of the sector and to ensure that environmental impact is managed.
“Impact to the environment coupled with the troubling trend of part-worn tyres finding their way back to market, poses serious challenges for the tyre business,” cautioned Chala.
“Which is why the SATMC is urgently calling for an approved Waste Tyre Management Plan, to address the operational issues for the sector
We will continue to keep you up to date on this highly charged issue.