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Clampdown on old tyre fires

Published 29/06/2015

There is to be a tightening of regulations regarding old tyres to prevent bonfires. Above: Ballycraigy bonfire in Antrim 2013
There is to be a tightening of regulations regarding old tyres to prevent bonfires. Above: Ballycraigy bonfire in Antrim 2013
A line of hundreds of tyres gathered for the Eleventh Night bonfire in the New Mossley estate
The notorious 66ft-high ‘Beast’ bonfire in nearby Ballyduff, which had to be relocated in 2013
Bonfire material in the New Mossley estate
Community worker Jackie Shaw and a welcome sign in the estate
Material collected for one of the bonfires
Ballyduff bonfire in Newtownabbey July 2014
There is to be a tightening of regulations regarding old tyres to prevent bonfires

Tyre companies in Northern Ireland are set to face tighter scrutiny in a bid to tackle the "scourge" of old tyres ending up on bonfires, the Environment Minister has said.

Mark H Durkan told the Assembly the Northern Ireland Environment Agency (NIEA) was working on a "producer responsibility scheme" for tyre waste.

Mr Durkan was responding to a question from the DUP's Sammy Wilson who insisted more had to be done to prevent rogue companies dumping "tens of thousands of tyres" on bonfires every year.

Mr Wilson suggested firms should be required to keep detailed records of how each tyre removed from a vehicle was disposed of.

"Surely if there is a record of the tyres that have been taken off, there should also be a record of how those tyres have been disposed of," he challenged Mr Durkan.

"Given the fact that around this time of year tens of thousands of tyres are being dumped by companies, who presumably took money from customers, onto bonfires, why can't his agency simply call at tyre companies, check what tyres have been changed, ask where they have been disposed of and, if no reasonable explanation can be given, why can't they be prosecuted for dumping tyres on bonfires?"

Mr Durkan stressed that the issue was a "complex" one.

"My department is working very hard in bringing forward new measures to tackle the scourge of used tyres and the scourge of used tyres being illegally disposed of," he said.

"I can assure Mr Wilson we are working closely with tyre manufacturers at the moment to discuss a best way forward on this. We are working closely with councils. It's timely in regard to today we are close to bonfire season when many tyres that are illegally and wrongly disposed of end up causing huge environmental damage as well as a huge anti-social scourge, which tortures communities across the north."

The minister, appearing during Assembly question time, said as well as consulting with manufacturers, the NIEA was also examining how other jurisdictions, such as the Republic of Ireland, dealt with the illegal dumping of tyres.

Premature incineration: Sandy Row bonfire set alight early on Thursday June 25. Picture - Kevin Scott / Presseye
Premature incineration: Sandy Row bonfire set alight early on Thursday June 25. Picture - Kevin Scott / Presseye
The bonfire at Sandy Row has been set alight early. Pic Twitter/StephenMcVey/BBC
The bonfire at Sandy Row has been set alight early. Pic Twitter/JulianO'Neill/BBC
Sandy Row Bonfire Firefighters extinguish the blaze at the Sandy Row Bonfire. The structure, in the car park of the Days Hotel on Wellwood Street, was lit on Thursday morning and has now been extinguished. Photo Aidan O'Reilly/Pacemaker Press
Belfast - Northern Ireland - Thursday 25th June 2015 - Sandy Row Bonfire Pictured is firefighters at the scene of the Sandyrow bonfire as it was set alight early on Thursday Morning Picture - Kevin Scott / Presseye
Belfast - Northern Ireland - Thursday 25th June 2015 - Sandy Row Bonfire Pictured is firefighters at the scene of the Sandyrow bonfire as it was set alight early on Thursday Morning Picture - Kevin Scott / Presseye
Sandy Row Bonfire Firefighters extinguish the blaze at the Sandy Row Bonfire. The structure, in the car park of the Days Hotel on Wellwood Street, was lit on Thursday morning and has now been extinguished. Photo Aidan O'Reilly/Pacemaker Press
Belfast - Northern Ireland - Thursday 25th June 2015 - Sandy Row Bonfire Pictured is firefighters at the scene of the Sandyrow bonfire as it was set alight early on Thursday Morning Picture - Kevin Scott / Presseye
Belfast - Northern Ireland - Thursday 25th June 2015 - Sandy Row Bonfire Pictured is firefighters at the scene of the Sandyrow bonfire as it was set alight early on Thursday Morning Picture - Kevin Scott / Presseye
Belfast - Northern Ireland - Thursday 25th June 2015 - Sandy Row Bonfire Pictured is firefighters at the scene of the Sandyrow bonfire as it was set alight early on Thursday Morning Picture - Kevin Scott / Presseye
Belfast - Northern Ireland - Thursday 25th June 2015 - Sandy Row Bonfire Pictured is firefighters at the scene of the Sandyrow bonfire as it was set alight early on Thursday Morning Picture - Kevin Scott / Presseye
Sandy Row Bonfire Firefighters extinguish the blaze at the Sandy Row Bonfire. The structure, in the car park of the Days Hotel on Wellwood Street, was lit on Thursday morning and has now been extinguished. Photo Aidan O'Reilly/Pacemaker Press
Sandy Row Bonfire Firefighters extinguish the blaze at the Sandy Row Bonfire. The structure, in the car park of the Days Hotel on Wellwood Street, was lit on Thursday morning and has now been extinguished. Photo Aidan O'Reilly/Pacemaker Press
Sandy Row Bonfire Firefighters extinguish the blaze at the Sandy Row Bonfire. The structure, in the car park of the Days Hotel on Wellwood Street, was lit on Thursday morning and has now been extinguished. Photo Aidan O'Reilly/Pacemaker Press
Sandy Row Bonfire Firefighters extinguish the blaze at the Sandy Row Bonfire. The structure, in the car park of the Days Hotel on Wellwood Street, was lit on Thursday morning and has now been extinguished. Photo Aidan O'Reilly/Pacemaker Press
Sandy Row Bonfire Firefighters extinguish the blaze at the Sandy Row Bonfire. The structure, in the car park of the Days Hotel on Wellwood Street, was lit on Thursday morning and has now been extinguished. Photo Aidan O'Reilly/Pacemaker Press
Sandy Row Bonfire Firefighters extinguish the blaze at the Sandy Row Bonfire. The structure, in the car park of the Days Hotel on Wellwood Street, was lit on Thursday morning and has now been extinguished. Photo Aidan O'Reilly/Pacemaker Press
Sandy Row Bonfire Firefighters extinguish the blaze at the Sandy Row Bonfire. The structure, in the car park of the Days Hotel on Wellwood Street, was lit on Thursday morning and has now been extinguished. Photo Aidan O'Reilly/Pacemaker Press
Sandy Row Bonfire Firefighters extinguish the blaze at the Sandy Row Bonfire. The structure, in the car park of the Days Hotel on Wellwood Street, was lit on Thursday morning and has now been extinguished. Photo Aidan O'Reilly/Pacemaker Press
Belfast - Northern Ireland - Thursday 25th June 2015 - Sandy Row Bonfire Pictured is firefighters at the scene of the Sandyrow bonfire as it was set alight early on Thursday Morning Picture - Kevin Scott / Presseye
Belfast - Northern Ireland - Thursday 25th June 2015 - Sandy Row Bonfire Pictured is firefighters at the scene of the Sandyrow bonfire as it was set alight early on Thursday Morning Picture - Kevin Scott / Presseye
Sandy Row Bonfire Firefighters extinguish the blaze at the Sandy Row Bonfire. The structure, in the car park of the Days Hotel on Wellwood Street, was lit on Thursday morning and has now been extinguished. Photo Aidan O'Reilly/Pacemaker Press
Belfast - Northern Ireland - Thursday 25th June 2015 - Sandy Row Bonfire Pictured is firefighters at the scene of the Sandyrow bonfire as it was set alight early on Thursday Morning Picture - Kevin Scott / Presseye
Belfast - Northern Ireland - Thursday 25th June 2015 - Sandy Row Bonfire Pictured is firefighters at the scene of the Sandyrow bonfire as it was set alight early on Thursday Morning Picture - Kevin Scott / Presseye
Belfast - Northern Ireland - Thursday 25th June 2015 - Sandy Row Bonfire Pictured is firefighters at the scene of the Sandyrow bonfire as it was set alight early on Thursday Morning Picture - Kevin Scott / Presseye
Belfast - Northern Ireland - Thursday 25th June 2015 - Sandy Row Bonfire Pictured is firefighters at the scene of the Sandyrow bonfire as it was set alight early on Thursday Morning Picture - Kevin Scott / Presseye
Belfast - Northern Ireland - Thursday 25th June 2015 - Sandy Row Bonfire Pictured is firefighters at the scene of the Sandyrow bonfire as it was set alight early on Thursday Morning Picture - Kevin Scott / Presseye
Belfast - Northern Ireland - Thursday 25th June 2015 - Sandy Row Bonfire Pictured is firefighters at the scene of the Sandyrow bonfire as it was set alight early on Thursday Morning Picture - Kevin Scott / Presseye
Belfast - Northern Ireland - Thursday 25th June 2015 - Sandy Row Bonfire Pictured is firefighters at the scene of the Sandyrow bonfire as it was set alight early on Thursday Morning Picture - Kevin Scott / Presseye
Belfast - Northern Ireland - Thursday 25th June 2015 - Sandy Row Bonfire Pictured is firefighters at the scene of the Sandyrow bonfire as it was set alight early on Thursday Morning Picture - Kevin Scott / Presseye
Belfast - Northern Ireland - Thursday 25th June 2015 - Sandy Row Bonfire Pictured is firefighters at the scene of the Sandyrow bonfire as it was set alight early on Thursday Morning Picture - Kevin Scott / Presseye
Belfast - Northern Ireland - Thursday 25th June 2015 - Sandy Row Bonfire Pictured is firefighters at the scene of the Sandyrow bonfire as it was set alight early on Thursday Morning Picture - Kevin Scott / Presseye
A line of hundreds of tyres gathered for the Eleventh Night bonfire in the New Mossley estate
A line of hundreds of tyres gathered for the Eleventh Night bonfire in the New Mossley estate

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