Rogue recyclers are bumping up the cost of tyres – by being paid to remove old rubber, then dumping it illegally with other fitting firms.
This kind of fly-tipping is a criminal offence, which carries the threat of large fines and even prison. But more than one-third of the members of the National Tyre Distributors Association (NTDA) have reported such activity in the past 12 months.
Some major fast-fit chains claim they have been left with 15 per cent more tyres than they have removed themselves from customers’ cars!
As a result, recycling costs could double in two years, according to speakers at a recent Tyre Recovery Association (TRA) forum. And this bill will be passed on to motorists. Car owners already pay an environmental fee of around £1.50 per tyre to have their old rubber properly disposed of. But a TRA spokesman told us: “This might have to double.”
The association tracks and recycles nearly 70 per cent of all the UK’s waste tyres. Speaking at the conference, Karl Naylor from wholesaler Group Tyre said: “This is potentially a very lucrative practice for these fly-tippers, and seen by many as a victimless crime. But there is a cost to remove and responsibly dispose of tyres, and that ultimately has to be passed to our customers.”