Environment Agency to cut illegal tyre disposal

The Environment Agency is aiming to cut the amount of illegal tyre disposal in Norfolk, Suffolk, and Essex by monitoring tyre businesses, and through an education programme.

Tyre dealers, tyre removers, garages and vehicle dismantlers are being sent a letter and a simple questionnaire advising companies of their legal duties regarding the disposal of tyres. Companies are required by law to keep their tyres secure, pass them on only to registered waste carriers, and to have waste transfer notes for their disposal. The Agency is also requesting that companies provide them with information regarding who it is that disposes of their tyres, the numbers of tyres being disposed of, and where.

The Environment Agency intends that its officers will gain an insight into the routine methods of legal tyre disposal from businesses who follow the regulations, as well as increasing their knowledge of illegal operators.

“The tyre industry recognises the issue and is willing to work with the Agency to find sustainable solutions to the environmental problems posed by waste tyres,” said Tim Sheppard, Environment Agency Project Manager. “However, there are a number of businesses in Norfolk, Suffolk and Essex that ignore the regulations designed to protect the environment.” The new action follows the recent prosecution of a man in Norfolk for illegally dumping 1.6 million tyres (see related story).

“The campaign aims to identify these companies who persist with illegal tyre disposal and the Agency will carry out visits, serve notices and prosecute those who operate illegally,” said Sheppard. “By working together with tyre dealers and waste tyre businesses we plan to educate companies to help solve this growing problem by offering advice and regulation. For those who choose to ignore the rules, they will face prosecution by the Agency.”

Companies failing to respond to the Agency’s request for information will be visited by Environmental Protection Officers next month.

In 1998, the Environment Agency predicted that the number of tyres in use will increase by 60% by 2010, and that without action, illegal tyre dumping could increase significantly (see related story). Currently the UK produces 40 million waste tyres per year (468,000 tonnes), and it is estimated that there are in excess of 20 million tyres in dumps across the country.

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