There have been three substantial tyre dumping incidents in the UK in the past two weeks which brings tyre collection processes into question.
Last weekend, SEPA worked with partners including Police Scotland and Glasgow City Council to tackle the illegal dumping of tyres in Dalsetter Avenue, Glasgow.
A spokesperson for the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA), said:
“Every day SEPA works to protect and enhance Scotland’s environment. Compliance is not optional and tackling illegal waste management activities is one of our major priorities.
“It is a criminal offence to illegally dispose of waste, with firm obligations on the waste producer to ensure their waste is managed by a SEPA registered waste carrier at a fully-licensed site. In addition, there are significant penalties for traders or business moving or disposing of waste illegally, as well as clean-up costs for landowners whose sites are used for illegal disposal.”
In Bradford, a former go-karting site is being investigated by the Environment Agency over a large pile of waste tyres currently stored there.
A spokesperson for the Environment Agency said:
“There are strict rules governing the storage of waste tyres, which are designed to help prevent fires and to protect people and the environment.” The EA added that colleagues at the Fire & Rescue Service for the area had been informed and that they “are now seeking to determine if an offence has been committed so that appropriate enforcement action may be taken.”
According to the Telegraph and Argus, there are a number of rules around waste tyres, one of those is that up to 40 tonnes on waste tyres are permitted to be used as crash barriers at go-karting tracks provided the operator obtains an exemption with the Environment Agency. But even with the exemption, tyres cannot be stored in piles exceeding 10 tonnes and must have a gap between each pile as a fire break.
In County Tyrone, Northern Ireland, EA is investigating after almost 100 tonnes of tyres were dumped in a field in Pomeroy.
According to the BBC, the landowner claimed a relative had planned to build a go-kart track but more tyres arrived than expected. He said he was unable to contact the relative and was not sure where they had come from.
It is believed that stricter controls in a key export market may have increased the numbers of used tyres in circulation. India was taking large volumes of tyres, but its government recently tightened up rules amidst concerns about the environmental impact. That increased the cost for anyone in the UK trying to dispose of used tyres and led an industry body to issue a warning about increased illegal dumping.
Other waste exemptions which apply to the storage and recovery of tyres include one for the small-scale recovery of waste tyres by baling, shredding, peeling, shaving or granulating. An environmental permit would be required for larger amounts.
Failure to register an appropriate waste exemption or environmental permit, or to be found in breach of the legally binding conditions of a waste exemption or environment permit is a criminal offence, subject to enforcement action by the Environment Agency.