In 1999 the Directive on the Landfill of Waste was established which banned the landfill of whole tyres from 2003 and shredded tyres from 2006. Exceptions were granted for bicycle tyres and off-the-road (OTR) tyres. Prior to this, end of life tyres were primarily disposed of at Landfills, where they presented a significant environmental concern in relation to waste management. These concerns related to the demands made on landfill space and the destabilisation of landfill ground, as well as the potential for subsurface fires.
At the time that the directive was established, it was estimated that 120,000 tonnes (28%) of the UK's annual end of life tyres arisings were directed to landfill. In Scotland, 14,500 (45%) of its annual end of life tyres arisings were being directed to landfill.
A number of other legislations describe the definitions and concepts that are related to the management of waste tyres. For example, EU Directives 75/442/EEC(5) and 2008/98/EC classify ELTs as non-hazardous waste, but also permit their declassification as waste when recovered for a purpose that has a market demand that is practicable within existing technical and legislative requirements.