Weakness revealed in scrap tyre code of practice

A follow-up survey by the Environment Agency of garages and tyre fitters has shown that an industry/Agency code of practice has done little to improve such operators' awareness of their "duty of care" for scrap tyres.

The first survey found that half of garages or vehicle dismantlers failed to check whether contractors were registered carriers - prompting tyre retailers to seek a new licensing regime for their sector (ENDS Report 326, pp 18-19 ). In response the Agency and National Tyre Distributors Association produced a code of practice on tyre disposal.

However, the code's effect has been limited because one in two garages does not belong to a trade body.

The new survey found that while 90% of operators said they were aware of the requirement placed on them to ensure the legal disposal of scrap tyres, 44% of operators could not name unprompted any of the elements of duty of care. Half were unaware that they could also be fined an unlimited amount.

Draft regulations issued in December propose the banning of tyres from all existing landfill sites by 30 October 2007 (ENDS Report 360, p 37 ).

The Department of Trade and Industry has rejected calls by the tyre industry for statutory recovery of tyres to be placed on suppliers in favour of new reporting requirements for businesses handling new and used tyres (ENDS Report 338, p 54 ). These may be proposed as part of a consultation paper, due in the spring, on a broader beefing up of the duty of care regime.

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