LONDON—Tire recycling costs are being forced up at an alarming rate across the United Kingdom, according to leaders of the Tyre Recovery Association and National Tyre Distributors Association.
The increases, the associations said, are being driven by a combination of regulatory changes as well as market conditions, professional used tire collectors and reprocessors are encountering challenging times.
"First of all, we are not alone in facing increased fuel and operating costs, added to which is the latest increase in the minimum wage, but these are just aspect of the upward cost pressures that we are experiencing," Peter Taylor, secretary general of the TRA, said.
"We, like other automotive waste streams, are encountering very significant costs stemming from new fire and site security guidelines imposed by the Environment Agency. These reduce capacity in many instances and put further significant pressure on costs which will all have to be passed on."
TRA members, who account for more than 70 percent of all used tire arisings in the U.K., are also being hit by a current slowdown in demand for tire-derived fuel in Asian export markets and elsewhere due to a four-fold rise in shipping costs.
"We have been warning of these adverse factors for some time and now they are hitting us all at once," Taylor said.
For the NTDA, chief executive Stefan Hay urged tire distributors to avoid falling into the trap of using rogue collectors, many of whom will be operating, often in breach of and therefore illegally, under current S2 exemptions.
"The NTDA urges its members, and other reputable tire businesses, to invest in the future and only use members of our industry partner body the TRA who have been audited by the TIF Responsible Recycler Scheme," Hay said. "Failure to do so will not only undermine the current collection infrastructure, but could also have a devastating long term impact on end of life tire collection in the U.K."