Industry efforts to stamp out illegal dumping of scrap tyres could be undermined by the Government's failure to monitor tyre disposal activities, warns the British Rubber Manufacturers' Association (BRMA).
According to the BRMA, the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) and the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) have backtracked on plans to introduce statutory reporting of tyre disposal ahead of a landfill ban on tyres, under the Landfill Directive, on 16 July 2006.
The group is concerned that a significant proportion of the UK's scrap tyre arisings --estimated at around 480,000 tonnes/year - will remain unaccounted for.
The DTI had indicated that a general consultation paper on duty of care would be ready by the end of 2004, but this is now not due out until this autumn.
This, Dorken believes, makes any statutory reporting requirement unlikely before 2007.
The Tyre Industry Council collects data on tyre recycling under its Responsible Recycling scheme, but this covers less than 70% of the industry.
The BRMA is urging the DTI and DEFRA to keep a closer watch on tyre disposal trends particularly with regard to amounts going to landfill and any increase in incidence of fly-tipping.
Dorken said: "We have still no idea of the developing situation with regard to fly-tipping. This is a very important indicator for the industry."
Gate fees for tyre disposal are soon set to rise to as much as £65 a tonne, compared to £40 per tonne earlier this year, according to industry sources. These costs are likely to increase significantly with the introduction of the landfill ban, which will is likely to lead to more fly-tipping.