HC Deb 17 June 2002 vol 387 cc24-5W
Mrs. May

To ask the Secretary of State for Trade and Industry how many tyres were scrapped in each of the last five years in the UK; how many tonnes this was; and what proportion of the tyres were(a) disposed of in landfill sites, (b) illegally dumped and (c) fly-tipped. [60640]

Mr. Wilson

The following table provides a guide.

Tyres (million) Tonnes (000s)
1996 43 484
1997 43 490
1998 46 431
1999 45 427
2000 50 450


Figures rounded to nearest million tyres or thousand tonnes.


Used Tyre Working Group.

Latest available figures ale for 2000. The numbers of used tyres disposed of each year and their weight is estimated based on data supplied by tyre manufacturers and importers on replacement tyre sales, statistics from Customs and Excise on import and export trade in used tyre casings and information from the Society of Motor Manufacturers and Traders on the numbers of end-of-life vehicles.

The method of compiling the statistics was refined in 1998 to improve their accuracy. Accordingly, figures from 1998 forward are not directly comparable with earlier years.

The numbers of tyres landfilled over the period 1996–99 remained consistent at around 30 per cent. of all tyres disposed of. With the closure of the single largest facility for handling used tyres in 2000, around 37 per cent. of tyres were landfilled that year.

It is difficult to gather accurate information on the illegal disposal of tyres, with incidences widely dispersed geographically and affecting a variety of local authorities, businesses and individuals. Research undertaken by the Environment Agency indicates that most local authorities experience low levels of fly-tipping, but the cumulative effect can lead to significant total numbers. The Agency has estimated that tyre fly-tipping is collectively costing local authorities around £2 million per annum. There is also substantial local fly-tipping of tyres on agricultural land. Not all tyre fly-tipping is immediately obvious, with significant numbers of lyre retailers experiencing fly-tipping on their forecourts overnight, and subsequently picking up the costs for ensuring responsible disposal and recovery.

There are occasional large-scale deposits, which in extreme cases can amount to several tens of thousands of tyres. There are generally only one or two incidents of this magnitude each year. A recent survey by the Environment Agency estimated that there are around 21 million tyres in long-term storage. Not all of these will have been illegally deposited.