A tyred old problem: what to do with used tyres

This week a warrant was issued for the arrest of a man whose company has been fined almost $80,000 for dumping an estimated one million tyres at a Waikato property, Radio New Zealand reported.

Used tyres are a problem to dispose of and tyre companies often pay people to dispose of them. Many people who obtain used tyres no doubt dispose of them safely. But as Jo Knight, Chief Executive of Zero Waste New Zealand says (3’13), “This is a place where there have been a lot of rorts and it is really time and a case for the disposal of tyres to be regulated.”

I couldn’t agree more. Tyres can be a valuable resource, rather than a waste. They can be used for many things including as an ingredient in long-lasting and quiet roading surface, rubber bollards and rubber road dividers, and as a base material for shoe soles, rubber floors and waterproof membranes. It can also be used in the manufacture of sports-ground surfaces and even for the backstop at shooting ranges.

Luckily for New Zealand, we already have legislation in place that could be used to ensure that we treat used tyres as a resource rather than a waste. Under the Waste Minimisation Act 2008, which began as a members bill by Green MP Nandor Tanczos, the Minister for the Environment has the power to create a mandatory product stewardship scheme that requires the recycling of tyres. 

The Minister also has the power to put make the tyre companies pay up front for the recycling of the product. The companies would be charged up front for every tyre they make or import, and that money would be used to ensure the proper disposal of the tyres at their end of life. This is called an “advanced disposal fee”. Advanced disposal fees are a great idea because the funds generated can be used to build the necessary recycling infrastructure. This has been working effectively in places like Canada for decades.

Mandatory product stewardship schemes and advanced disposal fees are tools that can be applied to tyres, but equally to other valuable resources which are often consider waste, such as electronic goods.

This year the Minister for the Environment needs to make some positive moves towards a waste free New Zealand. Declaring tyres a mandatory product and introducing advanced disposal fees could be the first step.  

38 thoughts on “A tyred old problem: what to do with used tyres

  1. It does astound me that, for dumping a million tyres, which somebody was quoted as costing up to $3 each to dispose of properly (and these have bee buried, which would up the cost of recovering and re-disposing of them), the guy gets fined $80,000. What was the court’s rationale?

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  2. The company was fined. The man himself has not faced the courts (from what I gather). There may be other charges that can be laid against him directly if they can find him.

    Trevor.

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  3. So Graeme – what would you do to prevent people from dumping types illegally?

    Why shouldn’t the people who gain the use of the tyres be required to pay for their disposal? Better than requiring every tax payer to pay. It isn’t much different to how things are now in that honest people are already paying for the disposal of the tyres that they use, but it would ensure that the unscrupulous vehicle users and tyre shops would also pay.

    Trevor.

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  4. Aluminium cans. Refundable at the recycle point. The waste has to have value until it reaches the actual recycling.

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  5. BJ,

    Take alloy cans to any recycle place (heaps around) and you will get around 50c per kilo.

    Uncontaminated alloy swarf just short of a dollar, and solid alloy billet offcuts $1.70 per kilo.

    Dont know about cast alloy but a lot less I would think.

    All it requires is someone to either put it into the recycle bin (for the council to make money on), or collect the alloy and take it to the recyclers (to make money for themselves).

    When you see people picking through the garbage there is money to be made there.

    Problem with tyres is the cost to separate the rubber (synthetic) from the steel. Shredding and magnet separation is one method, another is to freeze each tire in liquid nitrogen and dropping them onto the floor to shatter the rubber from the steel.

    Question to ponder – With millions of tyres in use around the world, ever wonder what happens to the tons and tons of rubber dust as tires wear down? Dont see mountains of rubber dust in road drains.

    Must go somewhere into the eco system?

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  6. Gerrit – The tires have to go a lot further to get to where they can be shredded, the steel separated out and the carbon in them recovered… or something else happen.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tire_recycling

    I know this isn’t really cost effective due to the energy required to separate out the steel from the tire, and that it is yet another reason to prefer trains to cars, but the point is that if there is ANY appropriate disposal of tires, they have to be collected, not dumped and buried without consideration of the environment.

    The key to what I am thinking here is to make it unprofitable to deliver the things to anywhere but the recycling center, and that is why there is a deposit and return charge. Instead of paying the tire center for the tire disposal, you pay the state the “deposit” on the new tire you buy. The tire center pays YOU for your old tire and can only get that money BACK from the recycling center. Yes, it IS easier with the Aluminum cans, but the principle is very similar.

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  7. I picked a tyre up off the beach the other day. Took it to my local refuse centre… ‘Nope, we don’t take tyres’
    oh, I ask..’how much?’
    ‘nope, we don’t take them at all’
    Hmmm ‘so what do I do with it?’
    ‘dunno’

    Guess I’ll throw it over a bank,huh? Who knows, it might go out to sea?

    Seriously? WTF? That is not a workable system now,is it?

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  8. Everywhere in this world the tyres should be recycled for free … it’s a benefit for the environment !

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  9. Amir,

    Everywhere in this world the tyres should be recycled for free …

    Wrong, there is a cost involved. Free for the consumer to dispose off?

    Howewer there are charges to be met and If those chargers are higher then the recycled raw material value, they are going to get dumped.

    Although these figures are for the USA and 2003, they do give answers on what to do with used tires.

    http://www.epa.gov/osw/conserve/materials/tires/faq.htm

    Notice around 30% are used for fuel. Wonder where and how they don’t contribute to carbon emissions.

    Tires produce the same amount of energy as oil and 25% more energy than coal. The oil equivalency of a passenger tire is 7 gallons and the heat content of shredded tires is 10 to 16% higher than that of coal. Tires have a high heating value—each pound of scrap tire rubber is equivalent to 15,000 BTUs of energy.

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  10. Gerrit – that is the point of the product stewardship scheme – to charge the consumers at the time they buy the tyres for the cost of disposing of them beyond what money can be recovered by recycling them. This removes the cost at a later time to dispose of the tyres and therefore removes the main incentive for illegal dumping. (There will always be some misfits who are too lazy to get the tyres to the correct disposal stations and who will dump them anyway, but existing laws cover that.)

    Trevor.

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  11. Gerrit – burning them DOES contribute to carbon emissions. They need to be turned into something other than smoke. They ARE durable.

    Unless they are made from natural rubber, which they haven’t been for a long time, they are the same as burning oil. Synthetic Rubber comes from oil, same as. This topic is a good one because it uncovers one of the hidden nasties in the dependence on roads and automobiles. Something that has been tugging at the back of my consciousness for years. It isn’t just the petrol burned – it is the tires. A set every 4 years or less, now all imported… I used to be able to buy NZ made tires. No more. High Dollar and no support for local industries… so another few employees go off to the dole.

    …and our environmental responsibility goes out the window.

    http://www.motorward.com/wp-content/images/2009/09/tony-nancy-drag-racing.jpg

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  12. Problem with paying for the disposal cost up front is fluctuations in the price the recovered tire material can go for.

    Alloy recycled material fluctuates like crazy, if demand from remelters is high then the price can be astronomical. Demand drops so does the price, often by 70/80%.

    You would getter better odds at the roulette table setting recycle cost versus recovery price four years later.

    If the recovery price is low you might find that hoarding old tires waiting for the price to rise becomes viable.

    If we take the “pay up front for recycling cost” meme serious and apply it to all purchases, you would end up with seriously expensive housing for example (where a house can easily last 50 to 100 years).

    Similarly cars, how do you set a recycle cost for a product designed to last 15 to 20 years?

    Lot of crystal ball gazing required.

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  13. I’m a strong advocate for building disposal costs into products. In fact in many cases such an undertaking would make some products cheaper, especially for anything easily recyclable or made of metal.

    The main problem with the system as it stands is that items are often disposed of in terms of their cost to the business or person disposing of them. Items are also built of sometimes inferior or dangerous materials because manufacturers usually don’t need to factor in disposal costs.

    If you take those factors out of the equation by having a preset disposal cost based on the best environmental practice built right into the product from the outset, the problem of non-recyclable and dangerous items would be largely fixed.

    Manufacturers would choose to use easily recyclable and safer materials because the consumer would be more willing to buy these items, not only for environmental reasons, but because they would usually be cheaper. In other words products made of easily recycled materials would cost less than non-recyclable and often dangerous items.

    With advanced disposal fees, the marketplace would be able to give a better indication of real product value to the consumer at the same time as protecting the environment.

    These days, the worth of each material and its cost to extract, manufacture, dispose of or recycle is largely predictable, and a fixed price could easily be determined for less intricate items with short lifespans. The trick would be in setting the exact price of recycling materials and ensuring they’re not subject to variances through unstable share markets and huge changes in government policy that can change costs drastically.

    However while the neoliberal agenda is causing instability within the global financial system and conglomerates are profiting from the creation of items that aren’t easy to recycle or dispose of, such an undertaking is largely unachievable. We would need to see a huge shift away from the adversary capitalism that predominates Western society.

    So we need to get the system fixed first to look at more long-term goals and we need stability within the marketplace to determine actual cost at time of disposal. The reason we need to do this is because materials are finite, and without a culture shift away from the throw away society, mankind will not progress above the pile of rubbish we are creating.

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  14. Disposal of waste houses? Not on the problem menu.

    I don’t think that was quite the picture.

    With the Al cans and (to my way of thinking with the tires) the deposit is paid to the State, up front, and it is not related to the cost of recycling the things (or the value of the Aluminum). It is just a deposit. It comes back when the can goes to recycling. Not related to the value of the stuff being recycled really.

    ?

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  15. BJ,

    So another layer of state employees to set recycle “levies” for each and every product sold in NZL?

    And off course the cashflow from purchaser to state and back from state to purchaser, another layer of state administration expenditure required.

    Would you include plastic milk containers in this scheme? How about supermarket shopping bags?

    What will be included (building you say are not?)?

    Practical to levy recycle fees at purchase time, Not very.

    People forget that what is considered to be recyclable today may not be worth anything in the future.

    If we take lead based solder used in circuit-boards for over 50 years.

    No longer kosher and replace with lead free solder (except for the military and government projects – lead free not as heat cycle resistant as lead based solder and prone to cracking).

    What value lead based solder?

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  16. Deposits on stuff worked very well, surely you can recall Coke bottles from some years ago?

    Requiring recycling of stuff is certainly is possible on a grand scale, see WEEE for electronic waste.

    There doesn’t have to be any government involvement beyond regulation, private enterprise can manage it all when required to do so. As long as the playing field is level, they’re all happy to play ball.

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  17. If there are regulations then sure as taxes there has to be the oversight to enforce them, which is an overhead avoided if gummint does it.

    OTOH, there is no profit motive for the gummint to try to “reduce costs”.

    I’ll go either way. As long as the “owner” of the tire has to recover the deposit by disposing of it in the correct waste stream the purpose is served.

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  18. bjchip

    It is just a deposit. It comes back when the can goes to recycling. Not related to the value of the stuff being recycled really.

    If the bond wasn’t related to the cost of recycling, there would still be cleanup and disposal costs. Recycling would then come at a cost for some items, and proper recycling or disposal would be less likely to occur. Furthermore, the bond paid on each and every item would not reduce the manufacturing of non-recyclable or dangerous items.

    If the consumer already pays for the recycling cost at time of purchase, government’s can use that money to implement better recycling capabilities. The cost of non-recyclable items would also be prohibitive, meaning people wouldn’t buy them as much. This would give incentives to businesses to manufacture using more ecologically friendly materials.

    Gerrit

    So another layer of state employees to set recycle “levies” for each and every product sold in NZL?

    Oh no! The government creating jobs… How horrendous! Jobs that would ensure that items are properly recycled and help to protect the environment. Oh the humanity!

    And off course the cashflow from purchaser to state and back from state to purchaser, another layer of state administration expenditure required.

    Yeah! The money merry-go-round is usually where problems arise within government institutions.

    Would you include plastic milk containers in this scheme? How about supermarket shopping bags?

    Everything manufactured should be included. There are alternatives to the plastic shopping bag that are currently more expensive to manufacture. However they biodegrade better and do not damage the environment as much. Putting a recycle tax on plastic bags at the time of sale to businesses would make the eco friendly bags more appealing.

    What will be included (building you say are not?)?

    Building materials should be included. Just like the plastic bags, you would get more people building using more ecologically friendlier products because they would in most cases be cheaper than their polluting counterparts. It’s really about setting the true cost of an item properly (including its cost to the environment), and letting the market decide.

    What value lead based solder?

    Lead has a recyclable value. Don’t quote me but I think it’s currently around 27 cents per kilogram in NZ. Depending on the items cost to recycle would determine if anything is added to the items shelf price. If the cost to recycle is more than the recycled lead is worth, there would be additional charges. If it was the same there would be no change.

    You would of course need to make recycling more appealing to consumers as well… So a financial incentive paid for by the profits from the recycling cost at time of purchase might work. The accrued interest while the products are in use could go towards paying people to take their rubbish to the right places.

    However the difficulty there is the same as BJ’s bond system… Keeping track of what is being taken to a recycle centre wouldn’t be easy, and I’m not sure how it would work with governments paying recyclers based on quantities of recyclable product?

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  19. One can see this is going to be another Jackal “yes we can lift loaded containers of the Rena by helicopter” thread.

    More state servants equates to more state expenditure. Already running in the red. Oh wait, lets print some more money, that will sove the problem :-)

    If we look at a typical house, the state sevant will need to quantify how much the recycle cost is, on specific quantities, off;

    polystyrene insulation under the concrete slab,
    PVC for clean and waste water in the slab,
    concrete for the slab,
    timber used in framing
    nails used in assembling timber frames,
    PVC piping in the walls,
    gypsum in the wall boards,
    screws to fix wall boards,
    alloy in the windows and doors,
    glass in the windows and doors,
    rubber in the windows and doors,
    steel in the roof cladding
    fibrolite in the exterior wall cladding
    nails for fixing roofing and wall claddings,
    paint for the whole house,
    MDF panels for cabinets,
    Formica for bench tops,
    Plastic for bath,
    Wood for interior MDF/timber doors,
    Nails to hang doors
    Carpet underlay,
    Carpet,
    Floor tiles for kitchen and bathroom.
    Floor tile grout
    Concrete for driveway
    Steel for garage door,

    etc., etc.,

    All these items will need to be quantified for every individual house being built, the recycle money deposited into the state coffers and shown on a balance sheet and retained for 50 to 100 years.

    Good luck with calculating the recycle cost of each material in 50 or 100 years time, you will need that to set a recycle value today to charge the new home owner today.

    Cant see it making Labours $300K housing any cheaper.

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  20. Gerrit

    One can see this is going to be another Jackal “yes we can lift loaded containers of the Rena by helicopter” thread.

    The option you seem to be proposing is to do nothing and pass the costs of environmental pollution onto future generations… How’s that one working out so far Gerrit?

    Good luck with calculating the recycle cost of each material in 50 or 100 years time, you will need that to set a recycle value today to charge the new home owner today.

    Not necessarily! The manufacturer would be charged, the home owner/purchaser would in most cases have a choice between products that cost more and are environmentally unsound and products that cost less and won’t damage the environment. Why is that so hard for you to comprehend?

    I can see why you wouldn’t like such a scheme though Gerrit, being a manufacturer who uses numerous hazardous substances, your overheads would likely increase unless you found eco friendly alternatives.

    You might like to note that the cost to cleanup dumped waste is extreme and councils are already having a hard time paying for such things. No doubt you’re happy for your rates to increase markedly as more rubbish is not properly disposed of?

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  21. The manufacturer would be charged

    How much? The cost of recycling in 100 years time?

    Care to set a cost?

    And guess what the manufacturer will do with that cost? Push it onto the consumer!

    You must have faith in the state not spending that money for 100 years.

    Can we trust any government to keep that nest egg safe?

    I can see why you wouldn’t like such a scheme though Gerrit, being a manufacturer who uses numerous hazardous substances,

    Glad to see you are familiar with my operation. Can I expect a visit from the Labour department?

    Oops, they have just been. No worries, clean bill of health.

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  22. Good luck with calculating the recycle cost of each material in 50 or 100 years time

    Hedging. Or insurance. Or, probably more accurately, assurance.

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  23. And guess what the manufacturer will do with that cost? Push it onto the consumer!

    No bad thing surely as this creates a disincentive to consume products that are un-recyclable (assuming the market actually works effectively of course?)

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  24. Gerrit:

    And guess what the manufacturer will do with that cost? Push it onto the consumer

    Ok then, riddle me this: who should pay for the disposal?

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  25. dbuckley,

    Ok then, riddle me this: who should pay for the disposal?

    Simple,

    The person who disposes the item at the end of its life cycle.

    What jackal is proposing is that this recycling cost be added to the purchase price.

    It can only truly and accurately be costed at the end of the life cycle, not at the start.

    For example you have just bought a toaster, the purchase price includes recycling levy.

    You need to register this purchase with the state so that the recycle levy can be attributed to that toaster and held in your name. After ten years the toaster gives up the ghost (or like my toaster is on a go slow) and you decide to offer it up for recycling.

    Now you need to get your recycling levy back from the state so that you can take it to the recycling centre to pay for dismantling.

    Repeat this with every purchase you make for fridges, to blankets, to beds, to computer, to light bulb, to furniture, to lawnmowers, etc. etc.

    Now muliply this by 4 million individuals and about 1 million businesses (not forgetting state purchases).

    Decent size database you now have that needs constant data entry.
    Your recycle levy being chargers (set by some suited state servant on $200K) could be overpaying or more likely underpaying the cost to recycle any item.

    If the cost is actually higher then you have paid 10 years ago, who will collect and tear apart for recycling your toaster? No one.

    We would be worse off.

    Can you imagine the nightmare of building a house and having to table a list of every product used in the construction, to the state, thus enable a “recycle” levy to placed on the new construction?

    Now this house you built will in it’s lifespan of 100 year, be re-roofed (corrugated iron substrate) at least 5 times. Each time you need to get your recycle levy for the roofing material back from the state to enable the steel to be recycled.

    More data entry required in the mega sized recycle levy database to register the new owners and allocate the recycle levy for the house into their name.

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  26. Now you need to get your recycling levy back from the state….

    …or rather than that horrendously complicated strategy, simply have the state collect the recycling/disposal levy as a tax – the more recyclable something is, the less you pay – with the proceeds going to funding/subsidising more effective and efficient recycling processes at kerbside and dumps.

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  27. Gregor W,

    So you in favour of setting this recycle tax at time of purchase?

    How would one calculate such a tax?

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  28. Gerrit:

    For example you have just bought a toaster, the purchase price includes recycling levy.

    The paragraphs following this debate how the issue might be addressed. As I noted above, the problem has already been solved in many countries through WEEE regulation.

    For example, see here, and here (that one has a humourous title: “Is your toaster toast? WEEE-cycle it!”), and here and here, and here.

    As noted: a solved problem. No wheels needing to be reinvented, no need for massive databases of stuff.

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  29. dbuckley,

    Each of those articles on WEEE has not one mention of the recycle cost being added at the time of the item purchase.

    You have not taken on board Jackals suggestion that the recycle cost be paid up front?

    In order to do that, and than have the recycle cost paid to the WEEE operators, requires some sort of database.

    In the WEEE regulations mentioned there is no upfront recycle tax added at time of purchase.

    Only that the retailers has to take the old appliance in a “like for like” purchase and take it for WEEE recycling.

    Buy a new toaster and the retailer has to take your old one to the WEEE centre (no mention of taxes, fees, levies, etc.).

    WEEE only covers electrical appliances, how about tires (the original question in the post)?

    So please read jackals suggestions again, regarding the recycling tax being an up front payment at purchase time, and come back with a practical solution on how, when and how much of that tax will be distributed to recycling companies.

    Sure the recycle tax distribution is doable but at what cost?

    Your $30 toaster may well cost you $60. Off that $30 recycle tax only $10 will be available to recycle the toaster, the rest gobbled up by admin fees.

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  30. How would one calculate such a tax?

    Who knows Gerrit? How is income tax set? It’s a black art.

    I would think that it would be based on the approximate proportion of easily recyclable materials (metals and such) versus not or difficult to recycle material types (extruded polystyrene etc.)

    Ideally the tariff should include packaging by volume as well but that might make the calculation a bit tricky – the manufactures should be able to provide this info as a matter of course though given that the fabrication and packaging processes are ruthlessly cost controlled within their own businesses.

    No doubt it won’t be a perfect science but I think it’s a step in the right direction.

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  31. Gregor W

    How is income tax set? It’s a black art.

    Its not a black art, it is quite easy.

    Take all state expenditure (including interest on loans) for the finacial year. That is the required years tax take.

    Now divide that total amongs the various avenues available by the state to tax society.

    PAYE, Company, GST, Fuel, Tobacco, Dividends from SOE’s, etc., etc.

    Now balance expenditure versus income to zero (maybe a bit higher tax take to save for a rainy day).

    No higher taxation than required to fulfill expenditure.

    So simple. Bet you do it with your household expenditure versus income.

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  32. I have an even simpler one…A transaction tax, with absolutely no exceptions.
    (I can really see John Key, a money trader, really loving that idea!)

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  33. Gerrit – if it was a simple as you suggest income taxes would fluctuate every year based on servicing existing and forecast govt debt / expenditure! :)

    Since the State is often grossly indebted while income tax remains relatively static – election bribes notwithstanding – this is clearly not the case.

    samiam – a simple FTT is a great idea (mostly due to it’s ability to greatly simplify the tax system) but it would not address any consumption or production factors relating to waste specifically.

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  34. Gerrit:

    Each of those articles on WEEE has not one mention of the recycle cost being added at the time of the item purchase.

    Fair cop guv.

    Perhaps if I go back to the actual EC order, DIRECTIVE 2002/96/EC OF THE EUROPEAN PARLIAMENT AND OF THE COUNCIL of 27 January 2003 on waste electrical and electronic equipment (WEEE) (PDF), Paragraph 20.

    Users of electrical and electronic equipment from private households should have the possibility of returning WEEE at least free of charge.

    Producers should therefore finance collection from collection facilities, and the treatment, recovery and disposal of WEEE. In order to give maximum effect to the concept of producer responsibility, each producer should be responsible for financing the management of the waste from his own products. The producer should be able to choose to fulfil this obligation either individually or by joining a collective scheme. Each producer should, when placing a product on the market, provide a financial guarantee to prevent costs for the management of WEEE from orphan products from falling on society or the remaining producers.

    The responsibility for the financing of the management of historical waste should be shared by all existing producers in collective financing schemes to which all producers, existing on the market when the costs occur, contribute proportionately. Collective financing schemes should not have the effect of excluding niche and low volume producers, importers and new entrants. For a transitional period, producers should be allowed to show purchasers, on a voluntary basis at the time of sale of new products, the costs of collecting, treating and disposing in an environmentally sound way of historical waste. Producers making use of this provision should ensure that the costs mentioned do not exceed the actual costs incurred.

    Now this talks about the “Producer” [of the thing] being responsible for financing disposal. In reality, the Producer can only get this money from one place, the consumer, and there is only one transactional point where this money can be acquired from the consumer, that being at the point of sale.

    Thus I believe this satisfies the statement you make that “the recycle cost being added at the time of the item purchase”. There is no other reasonable interpretation.

    Edited to add: and yes, you are cf course correct when you say this doesn’t cover tyres, but there is no reason why a similar scheme could not be enacted for tyres.

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  35. The exaggeration of admin costs is a notably favored distortion of one side of this.

    I did not discuss the cost of recycling. Only the diversion of materials OUTSIDE of the recycling stream, which is a matter we have to deal with as noted. The “recycling” cost of tires is currently paid when you get them replaced or disposed of. A disposal cost at the time they are disposed of… not sometime in the distant future.

    I see no need to change that policy and wonder why there is so much dust in the air here. There are TWO problems, they are addressed SEPARATELY.

    The first problem is having tires winding up in anonymous landfills somewhere because they aren’t worth much and aren’t very recyclable. THAT problem has the very simple deposit-return solution. The deposit has to be substantial enough that it stops people from casually discarding the things.

    The second problem is the cost of the recycling/disposal. That is addressed currently by the disposal fee charged by the tire shop. This is apt to also be substantial for things like tires… forcing the deposit to be higher.

    Note that the RETURN only has to be substantially more than the recycle cost AT THE END of the period, and no EXACT relationship need pertain as long as that is certain to be bigger. It would seem a relatively easy arrangement to create.

    Combining problems into a mess makes a mess of the solutions

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  36. dbuckley

    from the regulations

    For a transitional period, producers should be allowed to show purchasers, on a voluntary basis at the time of sale of new products, the costs of collecting, treating and disposing in an environmentally sound way of historical waste. Producers making use of this provision should ensure that the costs mentioned do not exceed the actual costs incurred.

    Any examples of this happening?

    Interesting there is an instant calculator here

    http://www.wastecare.co.uk/compliance-services/

    For retail electrical companies with hazardous waste the charge is 28 English pounds per 100 kg.

    Farming waste including hazardous waste is 58 English pounds per 100kg.

    mmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm

    Interesting. See a new business opportunity here.

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  37. Gregor W

    Gerrit – if it was a simple as you suggest income taxes would fluctuate every year based on servicing existing and forecast govt debt / expenditure!

    And that is a bad?

    I would classify it as good (absolutely brilliant in fact)!!

    Greens like transparency, well what could be more transparent then the state reporting to the people what actual expenditure is budgetted for each year and how much the tax take will be.

    Imagine the democracy if we had binding citizen referendum every year to approve the state budget and corresponding taxation levels.

    Now that is a true democracy.

    Any government that tried to raise taxes without a good business and sociatal betterment plan, would be sent back to the calculators.

    Control by the people for the people.

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  38. And that is a bad?

    Gerrit – I’m not saying it’s bad at all. What I’m saying is, it doesn’t happen and therefore the politics and rational around income taxation are not so simple.

    Transparency in taxation policy settings would be a great leap forward IMHO. It would also compel political parties to come up with true cost accounting in their political pitches if the expectation was that excepting force majeure, expenditure was set in stone for the parliamentary term once they occupied the hot seat.

    The difficulty of course is that under MMP, no single party is likely to have a clear majority so some form of compromise between fiscal factions would be likely.

    Not completely of topic, but this is one of the key reason why I would prefer a federal / devolved model with far greater powers at the local level in terms of levies, courts, welfare policy, policing etc. similar to the Swiss canton model (backended into a Federal constitution and BORA) as opposed to the top down paternalist Westminster style that we all know and love.

    Any government that tried to raise taxes without a good business and societal betterment plan, would be sent back to the calculators.

    The contra is also true with Government’s lowering taxes without a good plan. Shame our current bunch of chumps got voted back in doing exactly that.

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