Tyre recycling will soon become a way a life for motorists with the news that government will impose new green tax, levied on a range of consumer goods, to promote recycling and reduce waste.

Tyre recycling will soon become a way a life for motorists with the news that government will impose new green tax, levied on a range of consumer goods, to promote recycling and reduce waste.

In terms of the green tax, compulsory deposits will be added to the purchase price of a variety of items – such as tyres, bottles, cans and plastic. These deposits can be redeemed by consumers when the items are returned or taken to a recycling depot.

Draft regulations from government are expected to be tabled in Parliament in two weeks and to be promulgated by the end of year, according to Environmental Affairs and Tourism Minister Valli Moosa.

The regulations will put into motion a process of collecting and recycling scrap tyres countrywide, with the added bonus of creating opportunities for black empowerment, jobs and possibilities of exporting recycled rubber crumb, the reworked raw material.

Legislation won’t come as a shock to stakeholders in the South African tyre manufacturing, retail and/or import industries. CARtoday.com reported last month that Etienne Human & Associates, a business consulting group with a focus on the tyre industry, tyre manufacturers Goodyear, Continental, Bridgestone-Firestone and Dunlop; importers Michelin, Yokohama and Pirelli have formed the non-profit SA Tyre Recycling Process Company (SATRPC) to deal with, among other things, a mountain of scrap tyres estimated at up to 30 million.

The process has been five-and-half years in the making, Etienne Human, chief executive of SATRPC, said this week.

The uniform "green fee", of about one per cent of the tyre price, will be levied on every new tyre sold in the country. The proceeds will go mostly towards offsetting the transport costs of collecting and delivering scrap tyres to recycling plants.

The system proposed is that manufacturers and importers will pay the levy, which will be added to the cost of new tyres and imported casings and passed on, via dealers, to the consumer, reported on Friday.

"What we want to do is to make it transparent so that everyone knows what the levy is. We want to indicate it separately on an invoice so that it is not abused and subjected to other trade-related discounts and mark-ups," said Human.

The reason regulations have taken so long to come into being, Lucas Mahlangu, deputy director of waste management in the environmental affairs department said, was that government had "underplayed" the situation at first.

It also wanted to see what solutions the industry had and ensure that the "green fee" was levied uniformly to both local and overseas tyre manufacturers and traders.

"Our intervention is aimed at streamlining the collection of tyres and transporting them," said Mahlangu. "We are definitely looking at creating jobs. We want to ensure smaller guys come into industry and contribute to the development of the industry.

"Tyres are a very complicated commodity. In bulk, they are difficult to transport. If people engage in this, they would want to offset their transport costs,” he added. "Our aim is to streamline the collection and transportation and the levy imposed will go towards paying the people who collect the tyres."

CARtoday.com last year quoted sources saying that quantities of scrap tyres are dumped in the veld or burnt to recover the scrap steel. The smoke from these fires contributes significantly to air pollution and creates health problems. Discarded tyres are also a breeding ground for mosquitoes, which can carry malaria.

Large quantities of faulty tyre casings end up as second hand tyres on vehicles, contributing to the country's worrying road accident statistics. Landfill sites refuse to accept scrap tyres because they develop air pockets and "float" to the surface after being compacted, and destroy the landscape.

The initiative is expected to collect 95 000 tons of recycled rubber a year, Human concluded.

Original article from Car