Farm Ireland
Independent.ie

Sunday 21 January 2018

Farmers left out in plan to halt tyre dumping

Illegal dumping of tyres is a significant problem
Ciaran Moran

Ciaran Moran

Farmers will not be able to avail of €1m of funding that has been allocated to help remove stockpiles of used tyres.

Denis Naughten, Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment, made the announcement that the funding had been allocated last week, stating that the level of illegal dumping of waste types is a problem that needs to be met head on.

However, a spokesperson for his department said that funding announced does not cover farmers who wish to dispose of old tyres. He said farmers with such tyres should have them removed by an authorised waste collector, which they have to pay for.

Conservative estimates from the local authorities suggest there are more than 750,000 tyres dumped around the country.

The funding is being made available to local authorities to tackle the most significant dump sites in their areas.

Mr Naughten said he is also supporting the introduction of a new compliance scheme to ensure that as many old tyres as possible are taken out of the system before the scheme is introduced on October 1.

The new scheme, to be run by Repak ELT, will reassure consumers that their old tyres will be disposed of responsibly by the retailer when they buy new tyres.

All tyre sellers will be obliged to provide data on the numbers of tyres coming on and off the market under the scheme.

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The scheme, starting on October 1, is set to have provisions for farmers to use waste tyres for covering silage pits. The Visible Environmental Management Charge (vEMC) for agricultural tyres will initially be set at €0, as announced by the Minister. It is understood this will be the case for 6-12 months.

This is to allow for data to be gathered on the quantities and types of tyres being placed on the market, at which point the vEMC will be examined. The scheme will not have to collect waste tyres for which no vEMC has been paid (agricultural tyres), it says that would not be possible.

The vEMC is paid on new tyres and waste tyres will be collected by the scheme on a like-for-like basis. In other words, if someone purchased two new tyres and paid the vEMC, then the two waste tyres they are discarding can be dealt with in an environmentally responsible manner by the scheme.

The chairperson of ICMSA farm and rural affairs committee, Pat Rohan, said his organisation welcomed Mr Naughten's commitment to tackling the problem but he was critical of the decision to route the funding exclusively through local authorities.

"Subsidising the removal of tyres from farms would make it considerably easier for individual farmers to dispose of tyres safely.

"Farmers who want to do the right thing receive no help while - yet again - we see little evidence that the State or local authorities are serious about really going after the people who wilfully dump and rubbish the countryside - often making serious amounts of money in the process.

"We think the Minister had a chance here to incorporate farmers into what is a very laudable and worthwhile campaign and he has spurned it really," he said.


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