Tyre stockpiles are a hazard to the Victorian community and environment, predominantly due to the risk of fire.
Waste tyres can be stored as part of the tyre-processing chain, such as for reuse or recycling. However, they are sometimes collected and stored indefinitely in large quantities as a means of avoiding the costs of proper management. The low cost of stockpiling also undercuts legitimate tyre-processing and recycling businesses, and reduces resource recovery.
A number of tyre fires – in Australia and around the world – have demonstrated the risk posed by tyre stockpiles. Tyre fires are very difficult to control and generate hazardous smoke, which can cause a health risk through the inhalation of particles and chemicals.
From 29 April 2015, premises in Victoria with more than 40 tonnes or 5000 equivalent passenger units (EPU) of whole waste tyres at any time require an EPA works approval before they are built or modified, as well as an EPA licence to operate.
The Country Fire Authority (CFA) and Metropolitan Fire Brigade (MFB) have published guidelines for the safe storage of tyres for both outdoor (PDF 115KB) and indoor (PDF 119KB) locations. A management plan for the reuse or disposal of the tyres should also be developed and implemented by site owners and occupiers to ensure that excessive numbers of used tyres are not accumulated.
For general information or to report illegal dumping of waste tyres please contact:
GPO Box 4395
Melbourne, Victoria 3001
Phone: 1300 372 842 (1300 EPA VIC)