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Sunday 4 December 2016

Crackdown on tyres in bonfires a day too late for Halloween

Environment

Halloween bonfires
Halloween bonfires

NEW laws tackling illegally disposed-of tyres - many of which end up on bonfires - won't come in to effect until the day after Halloween.

The measures are too late to stem the supply of tyres for bonfires this year.

But Halloween 2016 "will look very, very different", a senior Dublin City Council official has pledged.

In the meantime, the local authority is encouraging Dubliners to report the stockpiling of bonfire materials like tyres and pallets by youths.

The new rules on tyre disposal are being spearheaded by the Department of the Environment.

A Producer Responsibility Scheme is to come into effect on November 1 to tackle the improper disposal or stockpiling of tyres by suppliers.

Meanwhile, legislation is also currently being drafted that will make "producers and importers or tyres responsible for the financing and collection of waste tyres from suppliers", city official Evelyn Wright told a central area committee meeting.

It is expected that that will come into force in mid-2016, she said.

The new measures will introduce a robust financial model that will see an 'invisible charge' of about €3 for every tyre purchased that will fund the disposal of tyres.

Every year around Halloween city council staff are overrun with illegal stockpiles of tyres that are collected to be used for bonfire material.

At the moment staff are collecting hundreds of tyres each week.

Ms Wright said that inspectors who are visiting some 100 tyre suppliers in the city council area are reporting that there is "intimidation from youths" and also instances of theft from suppliers.

There are also discussions ongoing, she said, with the cement industry, who are considering using shredded waste tyres to be used as an alternative fuel.

The combined measures, she said, will make for a "very significant improvement for next Halloween, we expect that things will be very, very different".

In the north inner city in particular the problem of youths setting waste tyres alight is particularly worrying, councillors said.

Former Lord Mayor Christy Burke welcomed the new measures which, he said, were badly needed in the capital.

"I think it will change the face of tyres and fires for next Halloween," he said.

The city council is encouraging the public to contact its litter hotline if they see the stockpiling of bonfire materials.

The city council is seeking to "minimise the impact of environmental and social consequences of bonfires and illegal fireworks through preventative actions and awareness raising activities", council official Brian Hanney said.

He said various safe events and festivals will be held across the city on the night.

The number for reporting bonfire materials is 1800 2551 500 is open Monday to Friday 9am to 5pm.

Alternatively, there is a 'Report Stockpiling of Bonfire Material' link on dublincity.ie.

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