We're researching several categories of waste that affect Canterbury and have national relevance, including end-of-life tyres, coal tar, and treated timber.
Current waste issues
Burning tyres is illegal and is nationally prohibited under the National Environmental Standard for Air Quality (2004). In Canterbury, the burning of all rubber, including tyres, is prohibited under the Canterbury Air Regional Plan (CARP) rule 7.7(a).
For information on the pollutants and the possible health and environmental effects associated with them please view our tyre disposal brochure (PDF file, 132KB).
If you think someone is burning tyres, please call Environment Canterbury on 0800 765 588.
Outdoor storage of tyres
In August 2021 the Ministry for the Environment introduced the National Environmental Standards for Storing Tyres Outdoors (NES-STO).
Depending on the volume of tyres on your property, you may require a resource consent from us for the storage of those tyres.
Tyre disposal facilities
To view district council facilities in Canterbury that accept tyres, please see the following links or look at our brochure (PDF file, 132KB).
Coal tar is a historical by-product of the gasworks industry, widely used as a sealant and road metal binder through the first half of the 20th Century. Its use was widespread in Christchurch, with approximately 50% of the urban pre 1985 road network affected. Coal tar is relatively stable in a situation. However, once disturbed it is highly toxic and needs to be treated as a hazardous substance.
Coal tar contains high concentrations of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs), which are an eco-toxin and can be a risk to human health. Environment Canterbury is working closely with Christchurch City Council to ensure discovered coal tar is treated appropriately.
Treated timber is a hazardous waste and currently the only viable option for its disposal in Canterbury is landfilling.
Not only is this costly, but we also get nothing back from this waste. We don't reuse, recycle or recover energy from it because of the difficulty of dealing with the treatment of chemicals in the timber.
We need to look at alternative options in Canterbury, and wider New Zealand, which aim to reuse, recycle or recover energy from treated timber and start using this waste as a resource.
Treated Timber Waste Minimisation Project
The Treated Timber Waste Minimisation Project was completed in December 2013.
It tested the feasibility of, and subsequently developed, a sustainable business model for the large scale collection and reuse, recycling and/or recovery of hazardous treated timber waste.
It had a particular focus on earthquake-related building and demolition waste.
The Government's Waste Minimisation Fund provided $145,000 towards the total project cost of $190,900.
Environment Canterbury, the Building Research Association of New Zealand, Scion, and the Canterbury Waste Joint Committee also contributed to the cost of the project.