Tyres that have become waste are a controlled waste. Waste tyres are a controlled waste by virtue of their inclusion in Schedule A of the National Environment Protection (Movement of Controlled Waste between States and Territories) Measure 1998. They are also prescribed as a controlled waste in
regulation 5 of Tasmania’s Environmental Management and Pollution Control (Waste Management) Regulations 2010 (the Waste Management Regulations).
Waste tyres are relatively benign in a passive state but may cause considerable environmental harm if burnt. Fires can emit large quantities of smoke harmful to human health, and runoff of water used for firefighting may pollute soil and waterbodies. Tyre fires can also result in destruction of property and have a significant economic cost. A further environmental issue is that waste tyres may also 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.
An Approved Management Method (AMM) for the Storage and Reuse of Waste Tyres 2017 has been developed under the Waste Management Regulations.
Waste tyres are those that are no longer useful for their original purpose (unless they are re‑treaded). Various uses for waste tyres exist (other than re‑treading). They may be recycled to make new tyres or other products such as playground flooring. Waste tyres may also be kept intact and reused for various purposes, some of which are prescribed in the AMM. They may also be used for energy production or as an input to other combustive industrial processes.
A Companion Document is available which explains the requirements of the AMM and how it relates to other forms of approval and legislation. It provides guidance on how persons may comply with the AMM requirements.
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.