Waste tyre management plan gazetted in South Africa

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Water and Environmental Affairs Minister Edna Molewa has gazetted the Integrated Industry Waste Tyre Management Plan (IIWTMP) of the Recycling and Economic Development Initiative of South Africa (Redisa) on July 23 for immediate implementation.
The Minister approved the Redisa IIWTMP in November and published it in the same month. However, the plan was withdrawn in January, following concerns expressed by industry members regarding the consultation process.

Redisa advertised the availability of its plan and called for comments between January and February.

Comments received through this process were considered and a ‘comments and response’ document was prepared and submitted together with the plan to the Department on February 10.

Molewa published the revised plan in April to afford the general public a period of 30 days to make further inputs. The plan was again revised according to comments received and published.

“Over and above the obvious objective of managing waste tyres in a manner that minimises their negative impacts on the environment and human well-being, the Redisa plan is centred around; among others, job creation, the need to include and empower the existing informal sector, as well as sustainability. These are key aspects necessary to meet the transformative social-economic objectives of the country,” the Department of Environmental Affairs (DEA) said in a statement.

The plan would be funded through a ‘per-kilogram’ levy on tyres manufactured in or imported into South Africa. The rand per-kilogram cost is determined on the basis of all operational and capital costs required to make the plan work and is currently set at R2.30/kg.

The DEA further indicated that the benefits of an IIWTMP included ensuring that the negative environmental impacts of tyres were minimised, as well as coordinating industry action.

The department stated that the intention was to ensure that the management of waste tyres followed the waste hierarchy, which advocated for avoidance of waste, reuse, recycling and recovery of energy and disposal as the last option.

This would in turn curb the well-known impacts of waste tyre stockpiles, such as human health risks associated with mosquito and vermin breeding, as well as air-pollution impacts from burning of tyres and fire hazards.

Further, the plan would extend the life span of landfill sites, especially in this age when land availability for development of landfill sites is scarce.

“The plan aspires to, through its research and development initiative, establish and encourage a vibrant recycling sector. Examples of products that can be derived from recycling tyres include rubber, oil, bricks and tiles,” the DEA enthused.

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