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Tyrecycle welcomes EPA licence for Somerton site

Tyrecycle CEO Jim Fairweather (far left) and EPA Victoria CEO Nial Finegan (second right)
Tyrecycle’s CEO has praised EPA Victoria’s efforts to tackle unsafe tyre stockpiling as his firm was granted a licence to store up to 80,000 tyres on its Somerton premises.

On receiving approval on 5 July, Tyrecycle became just the second company in Victoria to be granted a licence since new EPA Victoria (EPA VIC) tyre stockpile regulations came into force last April. The regulations mean premises that store more than 40 tonnes or 5,000 waste tyres must obtain a licence from EPA VIC.

“Tyrecycle noted in its application that this capacity was requested to deal with extraordinary conditions, such as those currently present at the Somerton site, where additional tyres have been accepted from the site of a tyre fire in Broadmeadows,” said EPA VIC CEO Nial Finegan.

“The company where the fire occurred, Tyre Crumb, recently applied for an EPA tyre licence that was rejected as it could not demonstrate in its application that the storage of tyres at its premises – about 60,000 tyres – was not at risk of catching fire,” he added.

Jim Fairweather, Chief Executive of Tyrecycle, says the licensing approval demonstrates Victoria’s commitment to addressing issues around waste tyre, including fire and environmental risks.

“The new regulations were a great step forward by the EPA in Victoria, and Tyrecycle has put significant investment into the Somerton plant to deliver enhanced fire protection and management capabilities,” said Mr Fairweather.

“That means we are providing a facility to responsibly manage end-of-life tyres that helps the EPA’s enforcement of their new regulations. It’s a positive outcome for the EPA, Tyrecycle and the environment.”

Tyrecycle has been operating in Australia since 1992 and has a national network of collection and processing operations. Somerton is the location of Australia’s largest tyre crumbing plant, processing waste stockpiles into recycled rubber ready for re-use in the construction, manufacturing and automotive industries.

With strict auditing process and a ‘chain-of-custody’ guarantee, with an ability to track the waste product and ensure it reaches the intended destination, Mr Fairweather wants to see this level of compliance and commitment with other businesses handling scrap tyres.

“Across the industry, we all need to take responsibility for the proper management of waste tyres – it’s about doing the right thing for the environment, the community and the future of the resource recovery sector which has an important role to play in driving better environmental outcomes in Australia,” he said.

More details on EPA VIC’s waste tyre storage rules are on its website.

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