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On the move . . . Angelique Hyde, at the controls of a digger, loads burnt tyres, soil and clay for removal from a site near Amberley. Photo: Robyn Bristow

By ROBYN BRISTOW

Burnt tyres, steel, soil and clay is being dug up and carted away from the Racecourse Road site, near Amberley, where part of a stockpile of tyres went up in smoke in February.

A digger and two truck-and-trailer units began the clean-up on Monday, with around 450 tonnes of material expected to be shifted over coming days. The burnt tyres were capped with clay and soil after the fire to help reduce the effects of smoke still coming from the tyres, and to stop runoff during rain.

Angelique Hyde, on behalf of the landowner Warren Hislop, says the remnants of the burnt tyres and any contaminated soil is going to the Kate Valley landfill.

It was hoped to be able to recycle the metal from the tyres, but after assessing the material once digging began this now seemed unlikely because the state of the material would make it too difficult to separate out.

She says the site remediation is happening at “considerable cost” to Mr Hislop, who had been issued with an abatement notice by Environment Canterbury (ECan) to have it cleaned up by November 20.

Some community members had expressed concern about the need for the site to be cleaned up before hot summer days arrived.

Angelique says she hopes the material will all be shifted by November 15 – a job which is separate from getting rid of the remaining stockpile of tyres.

ECan says the tyres are being removed by Tyre Recycling Services Ltd and 2016 Tyre Shredding Ltd, which have until the end of 2018 to remove them.

If the companies fail to meet the December 31 deadline, further enforcement options will be considered.

Tyres were being removed on Monday and ECan confirms there has been a
recent increase in the number being collected from the site, with around 30,000 already carted away.

ECan says the companies have also provided a plan to show how they intendincreasing the number of weekly collections.

Meanwhile, Angelique advises against any landowners considering stockpiling
old tyres on behalf of others.

She said Mr Hislop had agreed to the stockpile in good faith as he was told a
shredding business was going to be set up.

“It has been a very expensive mistake.”

She says there is technology available to deal with old tyres, but no-one seems to be getting on board with it.

The country generates 685,000 worn-out tyres each year.

“Once again, in the huge big picture, New Zealand is shipping its waste
overseas and not taking responsibility for it.

“I would love to see the technology come into New Zealand. It would do
wonders for our clean green image,” Angelique says.