News

EPA warning to get a grip on tyre piles

by
February 14, 2018

The EPA is warning landholders that a pile of old tyres on their property is a fire hazard, such as this pile which was stacked on top of silage at Strathmerton.

ENVIRONMENT Protection Authority Victoria (EPA) is warning landholders that a pile of old tyres on their property is not just an environmental nuisance in summer, it’s a stack of chemicals waiting to burn.

In 2015, EPA introduced tighter controls for waste tyre storage, prompting a significant reduction in the number of known stockpiles across Victoria, but there are more out there.

The regulations require any stockpile of more than 40 tonnes or 5,000 waste tyres to be licensed, with requirements for on-site firefighting resources, limits on the size of the piles and minimum distances between and around them.

EPA’s Illegal Waste Disposal Strikeforce is tackling the problem of stockpiles of unused waste tyres, encouraging owners to help to protect the community by making sure their stockpile complies with the regulations, or by legally disposing of the tyres.

Some waste tyres go to landfill, but many can be recycled, and there are several recycling companies in Victoria.

Old tyres should not be used for erosion control or around new trees, it is illegal to burn or dump them and if you leave them long enough they begin to decay and can pollute the soil and groundwater

Illegal Waste Disposal Strikeforce’s Chris Webb said summer grass fires and bushfires are dangerous enough without stockpiles of unused waste tyres waiting in their path.

“Tyre fires are very hard to control and generate hazardous smoke that can cause an even greater health risk to the community, through the inhalation of particles and chemicals,” he said.

“It’s a threat to the landholder’s livelihood and the homes and safety of people who live nearby, whether they are on neighbouring farms or in a nearby town or suburban area.

“Farmers do have some practical uses for old tyres like holding down tarps, but many tyre stockpiles are just a fire hazard and a threat to the environment.

“When necessary, EPA can exercise legal power to order that an illegal tyre stockpile be removed for appropriate disposal, fine the owner or take the case to court.”

To view the EPA tyre regulations and CFA guidelines for the safe storage of tyres, visit

epa.vic.gov.au/business-and-industry/guidelines/waste-guidance/storage-of-waste-tyres-in-victoria

If any member of the community suspects that someone has been illegally stockpiling tyres on their property or taking them to a place that cannot lawfully accept waste tyres, they are encouraged to contact EPA’s 24-hour pollution hotline on 1300 372 842.

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