The total volume of tyres (car, truck, aircraft etc.) which come to the end of their useful life in New Zealand each year is currently equivalent to over 7.75 million passenger tyre equivalents – some 73,700 tonnes worth.

Initiative: Tyrewise – product stewardship options for end-of-life tyres (ELTs)
Client: Key industry stakeholders and the Ministry for the Environment
Brief: Enable the tyre and vehicle industry to work together to deliver a consistent, nationwide approach to the responsible disposal of ELTs (2012-present)
3R Role: Project manager and on-going facilitator of the Tyrewise Working Group communications
3R Approach: Industry collaboration

TW timeline2Industry driven solution

Recognising the failure of previous efforts to create a solution for ELTs, 3R with MTA enlisted support from a number of key stakeholders and was able to approach the MfE for funding to tease out a new solution.

A successful funding application through the Waste Minimisation Fund (WMF), supplemented by industry, enabled 3R and MTA to bring together a working group of ten industry representatives. The Group was then charged with investigating and recommending nationwide stewardship programme options for ELTs within a tight 18 month project timeframe.

Project milestones

Project milestones have included:

  1. Stakeholder consultation
  2. Critique of existing systems in NZ
  3. Investigation of alternative uses for collected tyres (NZ and overseas)
  4. Identification of a range of feasible stewardship options and their costs and benefits
  5. Identifying industry preferred option
  6. Developing programme guiding principles
  7. Formal business plan and accreditation documentation

On time and within budget

Consensus driven: Representing the full spectrum of tyre manufacturers, distributors, consumers and recyclers the Working Group were tasked with ensuring stewardship options were viable and acceptable to the market.

“One of the successes of the Tyrewise project was the opportunity to build constructive partnerships for the first time with Bridgestone and Goodyear/Dunlop that helped us all achieve the objectives of stewardship for end-of-life tyres as well as creating new channels of communication that endure beyond the completion of the project”

Billie Watmuff: General Manager, Value Tyres Ltd (importer / reseller) – representing independent tyre importers and distributors on the Tyrewise working group.

Fact based: Over the two phases of the Tyrewise project (2012-13 and 2019-20) 3R spent considerable time investigating the plethora of recycling options for ELTs, ranking their cost efficiency, resource utilisation and viability in NZ’s physical and legislative environment against social, economic, regulatory, cultural, technological and environmental criteria.

Thorough: As a potential ground-breaker with Priority Product legislation, we were required to cover new and complex ground in making recommendations. Examples of research completed during the project by 3R include:

  • Investigation of regulatory requirements for priority product declaration under the WMA 2008  (the Working Group’s preferred approach)
  • Full financial modelling of the preferred stewardship options
  • Cost benefit analysis of differing stewardship models vs. the status quo
  • Development of preferred governance structure/legal entity for a product stewardship organisation

Ready to go: A model for a self-funded world best practice scheme creating new recovery opportunities, supporting R&D and end use options was delivered and ready to go.  This scheme is fair and transparent for industry and consumers.

Collaboration and Leadership

While waiting for the government’s decision on tyres as priority product, 3R continues to work with the Working Group to further the stewardship of ELTs in New Zealand.

“Can I pass on my thanks to the 3R team for all the hard work in getting the project to where it is now, I think you guys have done a great job, all we need now is for the minister to agree and we can start waving the flag”

Brent Aitken: Taupo District Council, representing local govt. on Tyrewise working group / Chair of WasteMINZ Territorial Authority Forum

Visit the Tyrewise website

If you have questions regarding the end-of-life tyre situation in New Zealand please get in touch

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