Waste pneumatic tyres can be used as footwear, sportsground surfaces and carpets for example as well as in the form of tyre-derived fuel for energy recovery. Nevertheless, tyres are not biodegradable and take up much physical space and are difficult to compact, collect and eliminate. Inadequate disposal can block water channels and lead to erosion and increased flooding rise. Piled tyres increase the risk of fires, generating smoke, oil and toxic contaminants polluting the air, the soil and the water. Moreover, waste pneumatic tyres can represent ideal homes for rodents and breeding sites for mosquitoes that transmit diseases. They are categorized as wastes containing principally organic constituents by the Basel Convention on the Control of Transboundary Movements of Hazardous Wastes and Their Disposal.

Technical guidelines are developed under the Basel Convention for the environmentally sound management of the wastes falling under its scope. Technical guidelines provide for the foundation upon which countries can operate at a standard that is not less environmentally sound than that required by the Basel Convention. The Convention defines "environmentally sound management (ESM)” of wastes subject to its control as taking all practicable steps to ensure that these wastes are managed in a manner which will protect human health and the environment against the adverse effects which may result from such wastes.

Technical guidelines on the identification and management of used tyres were adopted by the Conference of Parties to the Convention by its decision V/26, given their potential harmful effects on human health and the environment. In response to the additional knowledge and experience in handling used and waste pneumatic tyres gained in many countries in the following years, the Conference of the Parties adopted decision VIII/17 with a view to revising and updating the guidelines and to assist national authorities in the environmentally sound management (ESM) of used and waste pneumatic tyres within their national territories.

These revised technical guidelines on the environmentally sound management (ESM) of used and waste pneumatic tyres provide guidance in accordance with decisions VIII/17, IX/14 and BC-10/6 of the Conference of the Parties to the Basel Convention and VI/3 and VII/6 of the Open-ended Working Group of the Basel Convention.

At its fifteenth meeting, by decision BC-15/15, paragraph 3, the COP decided to update these technical guidelines.

For more information please refer to the Technical Guidelines