Will farmers face a new charge when buying tyres?

New regulations for the tyre sector will be introduced by the Department of Communications, Climate Action and the Environment in early 2017.

The new regulations will see the introduction of a charge, the visible Environmental Management Charge (vEMC), when purchasing tyres, the Department has confirmed.

The vEMC charge will be introduced for all categories of tyres.

However, the Minister Denis Naughton has yet to determine the fee applied, with the decision on the charge expected to be made following discussions with stakeholders through the Tyre Working Group.

The Minister will then decide on the appropriate level of vEMC per tyre category, and these will be incorporated into new regulations for tyres.

The charge will be passed down the supply chain and ultimately paid by the consumer, the Department has confirmed.

However, the Department has stressed that this is not a new charge as consumers already pay a fee for the disposal of their old tyres whenever they buy a new one.

This charge varies across the country from approximately €1 to as much as €3.50 per car tyre.

Under the current legislation, it says, there is no accountability associated with the current informal charge and no certainty for the consumer that the disposal fee they currently pay is being used for its intended purpose.

In addition, they will remove the option for tyre operators to self-comply with their regulatory obligations, and make it mandatory for them to be part of a compliance scheme.

What will the charge be used for:
  • Collection fee
  • Transport fee
  • Recycling and/or recovery fee
  • Scheme management costs
  • Auditing
  • Retail handling fee
  • Marketing costs
  • Education and awareness costs
  • Contingency reserve

Farmers can still use tyres for their silage pits

But despite the introduction of the new legislation, the Minister will not be amending the section of the Waste Management Regulations 2007 as regards to farmer’s obligations in relation to tyres.

Farmers will still be entitled to store and use waste tyres for the purposes of anchoring silage covers, subject to their being registered with a local authority and ensuring the environmentally sound management of such tyres.

Silage pit covered tyres

Reaction to the new legislation

IFA Environment Chairman, Thomas Cooney, has disputed the claims made by Department of Environment officials that the proposed new waste charge regime will not add additional charges to farm families.

IFA fully supports keeping the countryside clean and does not want to see rural Ireland being used as a dumping ground for waste tyres and other rubbish by serial dumpers.

“However, before any new measures are introduced, the Department must firstly clarify how much of the funds already collected have been used for the correct recycling of waste tyres and how their new proposals will not add extra costs on rural Ireland,” he said.

He called on Minister Naughten and Repak to now clearly explain how this new proposal will better address the scourge of litter in the countryside, while not adding extra costs for farm families.

Roscommon-Galway TD, Michael Fitzmaurice has also said the methods of tyre disposal must be looked at.

European Union and Irish legislation on the disposal of tyres is causing major problems around the country for many people.

“At the moment the price of new tyres is affected by the disposal costs and for people like the haulage industry and contractors this is a major cost for them, not to mention ordinary motorists,” he said.

Fitzmaurice said there is a simple solution to the problem and it involves shredding the tyres and mixing them with asphalt and road building, a method that is widely used in European countries.

“In fact it has been proven that it improves the road surface to include this material.

“Successive Ministers have been tinkering around with this problem without doing anything about it,” he said.