Few days ago a fire started in the area of an ex-plant in Sassofeltrio, in the Pesaro-Urbino Province, and only a few hours later the Fire Brigade did succeed in making the area safe. The consequences for the environment and public health were limited thanks to Ecopneus’s action, that last July removed the 2.000 ELT tons (waste code CER 16.01.03) present in the area completely at its own expense. Actually it was not the ELT no longer present in the area that started the fire, but other wastes still present in the area, ready to be removed by third companies.

Ecopneus, a non-profit limited consortium mainly responsible for End-of-Life Tyres management in Italy, since the beginning of its activity in 2011 has carried-out 8 extraordinary operations emptying deposits full of abandoned End-of-Life Tyres, sending about 24.000 ELT tons to a correct treatment. Another similar operation is still being run and, from now to 2016, it will lead to the complete evacuation of over 60.000 ELT tons piled up in the courtyard of a bankrupt company in Castelletto di Branduzzo (PV). All costs related to these operations are born by Ecopneus, with no consequences for citizens and local Administrations.

Thanks to these interventions, consequences much worse for human health and the environment deriving from uncontrolled ELT burning were prevented.

The Ministerial Decree n. 82/2011 regulating ELT management in Italy states that subjects authorised to End-of-Life Tyres management are to allocate at least 30% of their yearly management surplus to ELT collection operations from “old stocks”: in most cases these are deposits from bankrupt firms leaving tons of abandoned materials on the territory. Local Administrations cannot cure such situation with their sole resources; that’s why this solution has been adopted by Italian law.

However, Ecopneus management not only allowed the accomplishment of many of these operations – so far removing about 25.000 tons – but also the reduction, at the same time, of the environmental fee, the amount associated with the purchase of new tyres exclusively used to finance ELT collection and treatment costs. In the case of car tyres, the fee was reduced from 3,00 euro in September 2011 to the present 2,30 euro, a total reduction of over 23% to consumers’ benefit.