Fires, vermin and toxic waste that can contaminate soil and groundwater are just some of things that can be avoided by removing collections of old tyres, according to the Environment Protection Authority.
Environment Protection Authority Victoria (EPA) says farmers conducting hazard reduction burns should also consider removing any stacks of old tyres on their land.
EPA North East Region Manager Renee Palmer says a pile of waste tyres is a fire hazard and a threat to the environment.
“You can stockpile up to 40 tonnes or 5,000 standard passenger tyres without needing a permit from EPA, but there are common sense reasons for most property owners to get rid of old tyres,” Ms Palmer said.
“A stack of waste tyres is a pile of chemicals waiting to burn; it doesn’t catch fire easily but if it is overrun by fire it will generate toxic smoke, and burning tyres can be very difficult to extinguish,” she said.
Any abandoned stockpile of waste tyres is also an environmental hazard; providing a breeding ground for vermin while the tyres begin to decay and contaminate the soil and groundwater.
“Past practices of using old tyres to contain soil erosion or around newly planted trees are no longer accepted, and it’s illegal to burn or just dump them,” Ms Palmer said.
EPA urges landholders to inspect any tyre stockpile and make a decision to either manage it properly for the good of your farm and your community or send the tyres for recycling or legal disposal in landfill.
EPA’s website has good advice on how tyres can be used on farmland or other private property, at: www.epa.vic.gov.au