Environment Minister says he is committed to tackling issue of waste tyres 'head on'

Representatives of the tyre industry are holding a protest outside Leinster House today

Environment Minister says he is committed to tackling issue of waste tyres 'head on'

Protesters outside Leinster House in Dublin. Picture by Brian Lawless PA Wire/PA Images

As representatives of the tyre industry protest in Dublin over proposed levies, the Environment Minister has reiterated his commitment to tackling the problem of waste tyres.

The minister says he will be introducing a full compliance scheme, run by the Repak ELT company, which will be 'mandatory for any operator or person placing tyres on the Irish market'.

More than 50 vans and trucks will circle Dáil Eireann in a protest over what the Irish Tyre Industry group is describing as "a new stealth tax".

The group says the proposed levy would see hauliers pay an extra €15 or more per truck tyre.

A spokesperson for the industry said: “The Government is not taking the views and recommendations of the tyre industry on board. These views are being ignored and the future of all tyre retailers is being placed in the hands of one private company with no stake in the industry and without prior agreement."

Minister Denis Naughten says he has met with representatives of the tyre industry - but added that the Government must address the issue of tyre waste.

“I met with tyre industry representatives only two weeks ago," Minister Naughten said. "I listened to their concerns and I have done my best to address as many of them as possible. 

"However, the issue of waste tyres is one that needs to be met head on. I do not want the images of the toxic tyre fires recently seen in Wales and Belfast replicated here.

"The new measures I will be introducing in 2017 are a long time in the making and they have been stalled long enough," he added.