Frankton tyres bound for Taupo and Waihi

Old car tyres stockpiled at a Frankton property in Hamilton.
Aaron Leaman

Old car tyres stockpiled at a Frankton property in Hamilton.

Up to 150,000 old tyres abandoned at a Frankton depot are being trucked somewhere in Waihi and Taupo.

Hamilton ratepayers are forking out $260,000 to have the tyres removed after a Hamilton business tasked with disposing of the used tyres went bust.

Hamilton City Council awarded the tyre-removal contract to Kawerau-based recycling company EcoVersion.

Since April 22, the company has been removing up to four articulated truckloads a day from the Empire Street depot.

However, the clean-up operation struck a major snag when Kawerau District Council barred EcoVersion from bringing any more tyres onto its premises until they had set up their recycling plant.

City council's events and economic development general manager, Sean Murray, said the Frankton tyres were now being trucked to sites in Waihi and Taupo but did not know the specific locations.

He expected the clean-up operation to be completed by May 31.

Hauraki and Taupo district councils had been informed the tyres were coming into their districts, Murray said.

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Alan Copsey, EcoVersion's development manager, initially refused to say where the tyres were being trucked and threatened legal action if any of his comments were published.

Copsey, however, confirmed the tyres were being taken to Waihi and Taupo and said EcoVersion's recycling equipment would be functioning by the end of the year.

"I can't tell you too much where the tyres are at present only that they're going to be used for 100 per cent recycling within New Zealand. What we want to do is a press release at the right time which is only a few weeks away but we can't do that now because of commercial sensitivity."

Hamilton City Council originally leased the Empire Street depot from KiwiRail and used the property to store fixtures for the Hamilton V8 street race.

Following the event's demise, council subleased the site to three tenants, including tyre recyclers Pacific Foods and Products Distribution NZ.

The company moved onto the site in August but ran into financial difficulties and in March told the council it was unable to remove the tyres. 

Murray said the council was exploring how it could recoup costs from Pacific Foods and Products Distribution NZ. 

 - Stuff

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