Waste tyres are a controlled waste by virtue of the definition of controlled waste in the Environmental Management and Pollution Control Act 1994, and inclusion in Schedule A of the National Environment Protection (Movement of Controlled Waste between States and Territories) Measure 1998.
Waste tyres are those that are no longer useful for their original purpose. If managed incorrectly, waste tyres can result in a range of environmental issues. For instance:
- Tyre fires can emit large quantities of smoke that can be harmful to human health. Firefighting runoff water may pollute the environment. Tyre fires can also result in the destruction of property and have a significant economic cost.
- Waste tyres can harbour pests and vermin if stored or dumped in the open.
- Questions have also been raised about potential soil contamination and water pollution from waste tyres stored for lengthy periods in the open or used or dumped in water.
Schedule 2 of the Environmental Management and Pollution Control Act 1994 (EMPCA) lists "Waste Tyre Storage Depots" as a 'Level 2 Activity', which means that stockpiles of more than 100 tonnes of tyres must be assessed and regulated by the EPA.
Waste tyres may be managed under a relevant authority within the meaning of the Environmental Management and Pollution Control (Waste Management) Regulations 2020.
In addition, an Approved Management Method (AMM) for the Storage and Reuse of Waste Tyres was made in 2017. Under the AMM, the management of waste tyres is deemed approved as long as the tyres are managed in accordance with the requirements of the AMM.
The AMM is published with a Companion Document which explains the requirements of the AMM and provides guidance on how to comply with AMM requirements.
Approved Management Method for the Storage and Reuse of Waste Tyres - Companion Document (PDF, 602Kb)
In regard to storage, the AMM requires compliance with the 2014 edition of the Guidelines for Bulk Storage of Rubber Tyres published by Fire & Rescue NSW.