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At Last, A Solution to Australia's Mounting Waste Tyre Problem

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MELBOURNE – Jan 21, 2014: It’s been close to 20 years in the making, but now, the Australian tyre industry has a viable tyre stewardship program.

Launched by the Hon Greg Hunt, Minister for the Environment, the Tyre Product Stewardship Scheme will increase local waste tyre recycling, and develop new uses for end-of-life tyres. In addition, new industries and new employment opportunities will be created while environmental harm caused by waste tyres will be reduced.

A typical tyre contains steel, rubber and textiles and Australia disposes of approximately 48 million tyres per annum. The vast majority of these tyres are dumped, exported, stockpiled or put into landfill with only 16 per cent of waste tyres recycled. A successful recycling scheme could shred the tyre, remove the steel and textiles and ground the rubber into particles or ‘crumbs’.

“VACC’s Victorian Tyre Dealer Association members, the VACC Environmental department and our national body, the Australian Motor Industry Federation have played a significant part in shaping this program and we welcome the official launch by Minister Hunt,” VACC Executive Director, David Purchase, said.

“Attitudes have to change about waste tyres. They should be considered a valuable resource and instead of burying good quality rubber and valuable steel in the ground or shipping them overseas, we should be putting them to good use, for example, crumbed rubber can be used in sportsgrounds, playgrounds, pavements and roads,” Mr Purchase said.

The Tyre Product Stewardship scheme is voluntary and made up of suppliers, importers, retailers, fleet operators, local governments, tyre collectors, recyclers and the mining industry. It will be administered by the Tyre Stewardship Australia.