Quality protocol tackles waste tyres

Rubber from old tyres will no longer be considered waste under Environment Agency proposals.1

The Agency is consulting on the latest quality protocol to emerge from its waste protocols project (ENDS Report 376, pp 19-20 ).

Under the proposals, rubber from old tyres will no longer be waste if it is produced to the BSI’s PAS 107 specification and fits into one of five size categories, from powder to shred not larger than 30 cms. It must also be used in a market specified by the Agency, including landfill engineering and civil engineering.

If the rubber is used in an unbound application it must first be washed or weathered to minimise the risk of chemicals leaching into the environment.

Such material can now only be handled, stored and used under a waste management licence or exemption.

In reality, the protocol is unlikely to have a major impact on the market for used tyres. Some 480,000 tonnes of waste tyres arise each year and 94% was recovered in 2005 (ENDS Report 379, pp 16-17 ). Shredded tyres were banned from landfill in 2006, but this has led to a rise in the use of tyre rubber for landfill engineering and sports surfaces, said a technical report related to the protocol.2The consultation runs until 31 March.

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