In March 2016 the Scottish government, through the Scottish Environment Protection Agency, SEPA, banned all exemptions relating to tyre recycling. This came about as a result of a survey by SEPA that showed the only exemptions where there were regular isues with breaches of conditions, were with the tyre recycling sector. Since then it has been illegal to collect and store tyres without the appropriate licenses.
According to Monkton businessman Stevie Gillies there is no outlet for the tyres that he has collected. “ SEPA has basically shut everybody down after the law was changed last March so I have had to stockpile them.
“The only solution is to transport them to England but the price is too high and SEPA has a court order to take over my bank account.”
With his business under investigation and his bank accounts frozen, Gillies is adamant that the cause of the stockpile is down to SEPA’s own action.
The tyre stockpile has allegedly infuriated the landlord of the site and has caused the local hospital to be put on a high alert for the risk of collateral damage caused by any future fire at the site.
In some ways, this situation could have been avoided with the development of one or two critically located tyre recycling plants. Scotland’s total tyre arisings are estimated to be around 50,000 tonnes per annum – so in the larger scale of things, not an insurmountable problem. Perhaps an opportunity for the Scottish government to take the lead by helping develop the solution through incentives and development funding. Perhaps adopting rubberised asphalt throughout the country would address the tyre issue?