The Recycling and Economic Development Initiative of South Africa (Redisa) reports that its waste tyre project – which has been operational for a year – has remediated 26 388 t of tyres, created 683 jobs and registered 1 641 tyre dealers. In addition, Redisa is servicing 833 collection points.
“Old tyres are an environmental disaster, whether it is clogging up landfills, lying in illegal dumps, harbouring mosquitoes and vermin, or being burned to extract steel. Tyres burned during service delivery protests are a major health hazard to those who live nearby,” highlights Redisa director Stacey Davidson.
The Redisa plan aims to remove waste tyres from the South African environment, based on the introduction of a waste management fee, which supports the collection of waste tyres and is used for the development of a new tyre recycling industry, thereby creating value for waste tyres, she says.
“By creating opportunities and incentivising responsible treatment of waste tyres, individuals and small entrepreneurs find and remove tyres from their community and deliver them to a collection point,” adds Davidson.
The Redisa plan stipulates that the onus for the payment required for funding waste tyre remediation is on those responsible for introducing the waste into the environment, namely tyre importers and manufacturers, explains Davidson.
“The waste tyre management fee is put in place to cover the costs of the process. The management fee is R2.30/kg and all tyre manufacturers and importers are required to subscribe to the Redisa plan.”
About nine-million vehicles operate in South Africa, which means that there are close to 40-million tyres in circulation.
“From the onset, Redisa has had to deal with a backlog of waste tyres. That is why a phased implementation of collection has been instituted,” says Davidson.
However, a phased implementation does not mean that a portion of a dealer’s tyres will immediately be collected. It rather means that, as collections are being rolled out, more dealers will have all their tyres collected and other dealers will have to wait for tyre collection until their areas are serviced, she adds.
While all the milestones set for the first year have been reached and the main centres are being serviced nationally in terms of dealers having their tyres collected and transported at no cost, it is only to be expected that there are some teething problems in the development of a new industry, she points out.
“One way or another, we will pay the price if we don’t dispose of the tyres properly. It is far better to set up a process whereby the tyres are properly disposed of and from which we can recover as much of the value as possible,” stresses Davidson.