SHARE

By ROBYN BRISTOW

Amberley’s mountain of used tyres may soon become fuel for a furnace.

Former Hurunui District councillor Julia McLean and Bruce Gledhill have formed Accountability Action which has forged a path through red tape in a bid to rid the district of the tyres.

The group has applied for $300,000 from the Ministry for the Environment Waste Minimisation Fund and $40,000 from the Canterbury Waste Joint committee to get the tyres shredded and shipped north to Golden Bay Cement in Whangarei.

Here, the shredded tyres will fuel a furnace developed by the cement company for its drying process.

Mrs McLean told a Hurunui District Council meeting last week the operation’s success hung on the two funding applications.

“These are the only two potential funders of money that fit this type of project. These two avenues are it.”

A request by Mrs McLean for the council to hold the funds on behalf of the group if it was successful was approved by the council.

Mrs McLean and Mr Gledhill, who has worked for years in the waste industry, joined the council meeting remotely to outline their plans, which started to take shape last November.

Mrs McLean said the whole operation had to be set up, support garnered, and the landowner consulted before Accountability Action could seek funds.

“I am not sure what more can be done. But those who have come on board are sending a strong message that it is a community clean-up job.”

She had worked to get ‘‘genuine broad support’’ from the Canterbury Mayoral Forum, Fire and Emergency New Zealand, the Winegrowers Association and the Kowai School cluster.
The group has also set up a Give A Little Page and carried out local fundraising for
donations to the clean-up.

Mrs McLean says the uptake has been low.

‘‘We believe this is because people don’t see the clean-up as the responsibility of individuals, and the pile is on private land.’’

It has also sought donations from all 42 known tyre retailers who used the services
of the businesses that dumped them, without success.

Mrs McLean says she is talking to both ports about waiving their port service charges, which would help with costs.

If all goes to plan the first load of shredded tyres will head north next April. The tyres will be shredded on the Racecourse Road site using a mobile shredder built by Maugers contracting Ltd. This is expected to take 85 days.

‘‘We will fill two 20-foot containers at a time and have them transported to Lyttelton Port via truck. NZ Express has agreed to do this, as well as store containers at their site in order to meet the shipping vessel schedule.’’

The containers have been donated by Golden Bay Cement and will go on Pacifica Shipping vessels to Whangarei Port. The cement company will collect them.