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UK TV programme reveals illegal activities in tyre disposal and recycling

Tyre Recycling

One of the UK's leading investigation programmes, Panorama, turned its attention this week towards the tyre industry and looked at the growing fly tipping problems as well as illegal operations in the export of used tyre casings to the Far East.

Panorama reported that tyre retail/fast fit equities are charging motorists a Green Tyre disposal fee of up to £2.00, are then paying less reliable tyre collection companies to remove their tyres for legal tyre recycling processes. In fact these 'bogus collectors' are taking the money and illegally dumping the tyres in rented farm buildings before disappearing. A growing number of angry landowners who have fallen victim to this scam are then 'stuck' with the responsibility of disposing of the tyres which is extremely expensive.

The programme also highlighted the confusion surrounding the Green Fee tax which officially is optional to drivers. However, at least one leading tyre retailer was filmed claiming the fee was a legal requirement and Panorama accused a minority of the retail market to using the green fee as an additional source of profit by accepting the cheapest collection price possible.

Another equally disturbing practice exposed on the programme involves bogus companies emailing UK tyre retailers offering to purchase their used casings at highly attractive prices with the assurance that the tyres will be exported to 'approved' tyre recycling plants in the Far East. However secret filming confirmed that the casings are actually sold on to dubious companies who then take the tyres to China where they are used in the production of ceramics and causing potentially serious environmental problems.

The governing association – DEFRA declined to comment on the issue and stated it was the responsibility of the UK tyre industry to enforce stronger regulations on recycling. Labelling the programme as the 'dirty secret of the motor industry' Panorama called for the UK tyre industry to meet the problem head-on and provide additional funds to counter-act these illegal activities.

Although the programme concentrated on the UK market, it is generally considered that both the above unprofessional activities may well be happening throughout Europe.


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