Feb 10, 2016 News
The Mayor and City Council (M&CC) has welcomed the proposed ban on used tyres for vehicles, claiming that a heavy environmental burden has been lifted off its shoulders.
Joining the growing debate on government’s recent decision to restrict all used tyres and vehicles for road operation here, Town Clerk Royston King said yesterday that the policy will go a long way in helping to manage these particular types of waste. He said the Council welcomes the policy not only because of its environmental benefits, but because it also improves road safety.
The Town Clerk explained that these used tyres, for instance, take a very long time to disintegrate. At the same time the waste material releases harmful chemicals into the atmosphere.
In addition, used tyres are also major contributors to vehicular accidents since blowouts and flats are prevalent with these worn out or damaged equipment.
The Town Clerk went on to encourage the acceptance of the new policy since, according to him, research confirms that the only positive associated with used tyres is that they are cheap.
“The used tyre industry in Guyana is completely unregulated, and there’s simply no guarantee that these tyres are safe,” he stated.
Sometimes these used tyres and vehicles may appear in working order, but have internal damage that’s completely invisible.
“It’s almost impossible to declare a used tyre safe by just looking at it, but this is the method employed in Guyana,” King warned.
The Town Clerk also warned that a sale tactic being employed is the painting of used tyres to make them appear to be in a better condition.
“A consumer cannot tell the age of the tyre and most manufacturers warn against their reuse because the material breaks down at a certain point.”
This worsens the situation, King said, because road hazards such as potholes, rough terrain, and bad weather deteriorate the tyre further, increasing danger levels.
“There is no way one can know the history of a used tyre,” the Town Clerk urged.
He said the same understanding could be applied when understanding the consequences of having used vehicles.
While some observers have applauded the government’s move based on various aspects including safety, health and the need to avoid Guyana from becoming a “dumping ground”, various used tyre dealers have expressed their concerns, saying that the move was a bad one.
Forbes Garraway, of Forbes Vulcanising, said that he is an importer of used tyres. He currently has about 5,000 in stock. He stated that while he recognises that in order to have positive change, some systems must go, the government should also keep in mind that “the small man needs to live”.
“It is a bad move. The reduction of the tax on new tyres will not be much, so it will still put pressure on the “small man”, who is already struggling to make a living,” Garraway said.
Asked about the safety and health hazards that used tyres may contribute to, Garraway replied, “Used tyres don’t cause accidents, speed and drunk driving cause it.”
He stated that the government should put a system in place to monitor the quality of tyres
“In other countries that sell used tyres, there are different grades; you have the A, B and C grade. When the container comes in (Guyana), they should inspect the quality of the tyres before clearing it.”
“If they ban it, I will still survive and so will my staff, because we sell new tyres too, but what will happen to people who only deal with used tyres and have workers?”
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