REGION - VACC's Victorian Tyre Dealer members have welcomed the launch of the Tyre Product Stewardship Scheme.
The new initiative will be managed by Tyre Stewardship Australia and develop sustainable uses for old tyres and reduce their environmental impact.
The Tyre Product Stewardship Scheme will increase local waste tyre recycling, and develop new uses for end-of-life tyres.
In addition, new industries and new employment opportunities will be created while environmental harm caused by waste tyres will be reduced.
This is of particular interest to Stawell given it is home to one of largest tyre dumps in the country. Millions of tyres are estimated to litter the Motorway Tyres site in Horsham Road.
Northern Grampians Shire Council confirmed late last year it was close to a resolution that would see the safe and suitable removal of the tyres this year.
Manufacturing company Green Distillation Technologies (GDT) was on the verge of gaining approval to build a plant adjacent to the current site.
The establishment of the plant would be the first of its kind in Victoria and could act as the central processing plant for the disposal of tyres from across the region.
The business would employ nine to ten staff and create ancillary services in the town. It's estimated it would take four - five years alone to remove the large amount of tyres built up in Stawell.
GDT has developed a proprietary destructive distillation technology which is capable of recycling end of life car and truck tyres into saleable commodities of carbon, oil and steel.
A typical tyre contains steel, rubber and textiles and Australia disposes of approximately 48 million tyres per annum.
The vast majority of these tyres are dumped, exported, stockpiled or put into landfill with only 16 per cent of waste tyres recycled. A successful recycling scheme could shred the tyre, remove the steel and textiles and ground the rubber into particles or 'crumbs'.
"VACC's Victorian Tyre Dealer Association members, the VACC Environmental department and our national body, the Australian Motor Industry Federation have played a significant part in shaping this program and we welcome the official launch by Minister Hunt," VACC Executive Director, David Purchase said.
"Attitudes have to change about waste tyres. They should be considered a valuable resource and instead of burying good quality rubber and valuable steel in the ground or shipping them overseas, we should be putting them to good use, for example, crumbed rubber can be used in sports grounds, playgrounds, pavements and roads."