No return for tyre firm on millions paid for recycling

Cindy Preller

WHILE the Recycling Economic Development Initiative of South Africa (Redisa) has been operating for more than a year, nothing has changed for at least one Nelson Mandela Bay tyre manufacturer.

Continental Tyre South Africa (CTSA) says it is paying millions of rands every month in waste tyre management fees to Redisa, while at the same time still having to pay a waste management company to dispose of its scrap and reject tyres.

CTSA managing director Dieter Horni, who is also chairman of the SA Tyre Manufacturers’ Conference, said he was not against the Redisa plan but was unhappy with the slow implementation of the project.

Tyre manufacturers and importers of new tyres pay a waste tyre management fee of R2.30 per kilogram of tyre imported or produced to Redisa.

The Redisa plan was gazetted in November last year and the first month in which the management fees were due was February this year.

Redisa’s mandate is to establish and fund a transporter network for waste tyres, establish depots around the country and run education awareness campaigns with the management fees collected.

It is a non-profit organisation aimed at developing a new recycling industry.

Horni said he had held meetings with Redisa to find out when the tyre collection and recycling, especially in the Eastern Cape, would start.

To the best of his knowledge, no collection of waste tyres had been done at local Continental-affiliated dealerships either.

“They need to show us where the money is being spent. I am not against the Redisa plan, but I am against the fact that they are not doing what they promised. If there is a delay, they should be open to communicate this with the manufacturers and importers of the tyres.”

He said illegal dump sites in South Africa were growing daily and not enough was being done to address this.

Redisa credits factory rejects back to the manufacturers at 88c per kilogram.

Horni said scrap and reject tyres occurred in the factory due to various reasons, from a break in electricity supply to certain technical criteria set by vehicle manufacturers.

Redisa director Stacey Davidson said on average 275000 tons of new tyres were produced per year countrywide.

“The plan introduces a ‘producer pays principle’, which basically means that the manufacturer has a responsibility to provide for the remediation of the environment.

“If you create a problem you need to take responsibility for fixing it,” Davidson said.

Davidson said Redisa’s target to start collecting tyres within 10 months had been met.

“However, a phased implementation cannot mean that every tyre dealer gets a portion of his tyres collected. It means that as collections roll out, more and more tyre dealers will be serviced and have all their tyres collected, but others will still have no tyres collected until their area is able to be serviced.”

To date 70 tyre dealers in the Western Cape and KwaZulu-Natal had been serviced and 16230 tons of waste tyres had been processed. A geographical roll-out plan, indicating which areas would be serviced next, would be published in February.

Davidson said Redisa was communicating with tyre manufacturers and dealers, and had started distributing a fortnightly newsletter keeping all stakeholders informed.

She said one recycler had been contracted in the Eastern Cape, along with eight others in the rest of the country which would be supplied with waste tyres at no cost.

Goodyear South Africa marketing director Dustine Gascoyne did not want to comment on the specific amount paid to Redisa by the Uitenhage-based tyre manufacturer per month.

“We endeavour to support government recycling initiatives and globally we have a zero waste to landfill policy,” Gascoyne said.

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