Consumers are being ripped off in many parts of New Zealand when they pay a tyre disposal fee to garages, says Labour Environment spokesperson Megan Woods.
“If you pay a $5 dollar disposal recycling fee there is a good chance your tyre will end up in an environmentally dangerous dump or weighing down silage on a farm.
“The situation is so serious that much of the South Island has no tyre recycler to handle the millions of tyres being thrown away.
“Nick Smith must reverse his go - slow over the disposal of tyres. He scuttled the industry’s own solution, Tyrewise, which would mean an eco-fee would be charged at the border on tyre imports.
“He has dashed the hopes of industry groups and wasted three years of work on this project.
“That money and time could have been used to develop mandatory recycling for tyres. There are plenty of solutions out there that would allow us to use old tyres as a resource.
“The Minister’s inaction has also meant we are now importing other countries’ problems. A car recently imported into New Zealand had 10 year old tyres that were unsafe and would have found their way immediately into our dumps.
“The motor industry has estimated about 30 per cent of New Zealand’s tyres are now being dumped. This is a terrible indictment of our clean green record,” says Megan Woods.