EPA grants first licence under new tyre storage rules

EPA Victoria (EPA VIC) has approved its first tyre storage licence since its new regulations around tyre stockpiles came into force.

Campbellfield company Oz Tyre Recyclers had its application approved last week for a licence to store up to 7,000 tyres at its site.

EPA Victoria updated its storage regulations in April 2015 with the aim of minimising the fire hazard associated with keeping large volumes of waste tyres.

Under these rules, businesses storing more than 40 tonnes of or 5,000 old standard car tyres must obtain a works approval and licence from EPA VIC. Unlicensed premises face fines up to $350,000 under the Environment Protection Act 1970.

Businesses or sites that were already storing waste tyres had until 29 October 2015 to apply for an EPA licence to continue these storage operations.

“EPA has put these regulations in place to ensure the Victorian public is better protected from the risk of tyre fires from unsafe stockpiles of waste tyres,” EPA CEO Nial Finegan said. “While the company had been issued a licence, it is still required to meet the conditions the licence or face losing the right to store more than 5,000 tyres.”

Conversely, a licence application from Broadmeadows company Tyre Crumb to store more than 5,000 tyres at its premises was rejected last week.

Mr Finegan said the company did not demonstrate in its application that the tyres stored at the site – currently about 60,000 – was not at risk of catching fire.

“Tyre fires can cause significant pollution of the atmosphere and are incredibly difficult to put out, as was the case when the stockpile at the Tyre Crumb site caught fire in January this year,” he stated.

Under EPA VIC regulations, and through a statutory notice issued to the company, Tyre Crumb will have to reduce its stockpile of tyres to less than 5,000 units and dispose of excess numbers to a licensed site or one operating below the 5,000 unit threshold.

Reducing poorly managed waste tyre stockpiles is a key priority for EPA VIC’s Illegal Dumping Strikeforce Program.

Full details on Victoria’s new tyre storage regulations and licensing requirements are available on the EPA VIC website.

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