New fund to support the recycling of farmers' waste tyres

Ciaran Moran

Ciaran Moran

Environment Minister Denis Naughten is to provide €700,000 funding for a number of bring centres across the country to support the recycling of waste tyres, which are typically used to anchor silage pits.

IFA Environment Chairman Thomas Cooney welcomed the decision saying the IFA has lobbied for a number of years for the introduction of a take back scheme for waste tyres, which ensures the sustainable management of old and worn tyres that can no-longer be used to anchor silage pits.

"We are delighted to have secured almost €700,000 in funding and look forward to the current tendering process being concluded and the bring centres commencing.”

Concluding, Thomas Cooney said, “Farmers continue to demonstrate a real willingness to recycle waste streams generated on farms. Each year thousands of tonnes of farm plastics, bale wrap and meal bags are recycled. I am sure that farmers will also support this worthwhile waste tyre initiative and I look forward to working with Minister Naughten to ensure its success.”

Last year, Minister Naughten annouced a €1m fund to help remove stockpiles of used tyres. However concerns were raised when it emerged that farmers were no able to avail of that funding.

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

Mr Naughten has 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.

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

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.

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