News

Old tyres a fire hazard

By Country News

Fires, vermin and toxic waste that can contaminate soil and groundwater are just some of things that can be avoided by removing collections of old tyres, according to the Environment Protection Authority.

As fire restrictions ease, EPA Victoria is urging the removal of tyre stockpiles before landowners conduct any hazard reduction burns on their property.

EPA's north-east region manager Renee Palmer said a pile of waste tyres was a fire hazard.

“You can stockpile up to 40 tonnes or 5000 standard passenger tyres without needing a permit from EPA, but there are common sense reasons for most property owners to get rid of old tyres,” Ms Palmer said.

“A stack of waste tyres is a pile of chemicals waiting to burn. It doesn’t catch fire easily but if it is overrun by fire it will generate toxic smoke, and burning tyres can be very difficult to extinguish.”

Abandoned stockpiles of waste tyres are also an environmental hazard, providing a breeding ground for vermin while the tyres begin to decay and contaminate the soil and groundwater.

“Past practices of using old tyres to contain soil erosion or around newly planted trees are no longer accepted, and it’s illegal to burn or just dump them,” Ms Palmer said.

The EPA has urged landholders to inspect any tyre stockpiles and properly manage them on-farm, or to send the tyres for recycling or legal disposal in landfill.

For advice on how tyres can be used on farm land or other private property, visit: www.epa.vic.gov.au/-/media/epa/files/publications/1652.pdf

If you suspect someone is illegally stockpiling or dumping waste tyres, phone the EPA on 1300 372 842.