Tyre Stewardship Australia (TSA) has welcomed several major tyre manufacturers to its Tyre Product Stewardships Scheme, including Bridgestone Mining Solutions.
The Scheme looks to find sustainable outcomes for off-the-road (OTR) tyres in industries such as mining and agriculture – the former producing 85,000 tonnes of OTR tyres every year.
Bridgestone Mining Solutions, Bearcat, Goodyear, Kal Tire, Michelin and Yokohama have all committed to join the Scheme from January 2022.
TSA chief executive officer Lina Goodman said these companies had taken a step in the right direction for the future of the industries they serve.
“Every year that we don’t find sustainable outcomes for OTR tyres is a lost opportunity to better recover the valuable resources they contain,” she said.
“Tyre importers who have agreed to contribute financially as part of the Scheme have read community sentiment and contribution to the Scheme is the first step to acknowledging onsite burial of end-of-life tyres is increasingly unacceptable – and unsustainable.”
The Scheme levy is based upon $0.25 per equivalent passenger unit, equating to $50 for a large mining truck tyre – one of the lowest cost Schemes of its kind.
Goodman said good progress had been shown in the smaller tyre market and it was time for these industrial sectors to follow suit.
“That levy has been instrumental in helping TSA contribute $7 million to develop new local markets for tyre derived products. And the results have been remarkable: the passenger, bus and truck tyre sector now has a recovery rate of around 90 per cent,” Goodman said.
“The time is right to shift our focus to the OTR sector. We want to generate the same level of interest, support and sustainable outcomes we have seen in the passenger, bus and truck sector.”
As around 90 per cent of OTR tyres are disposed of ‘in-pit’ at mining sites – totalling more than 75,000 tonnes of tyres buried each year – the impact of more sustainable tyre outcomes would be significant.
Goodman said it not only had environmental benefits, but economic ones too.
“Changing on-site mining behaviour away from burying or stockpiling OTR tyres may be the single greatest catalyst to advance resource recovery across all OTR sectors,” she said.
“This, in turn, will encourage investments in processing equipment, technologies and market development.
“TSA intends to work with this sector to provide them the necessary support required to advance recovery rates.”