UK Government Puts Pressure on Illegal Waste Operations
Across Europe, regardless of the producer responsibility schemes in place, illicit tyre dumping continues to take place. The UK Government has, in its autumn budget, piled the pressure on rogue traders according to the Tyre Recovery Association (TRA).
Measures announced in the Autumn Budget this week to increase the liability of illegal waste site operators have been welcomed by the TRA.
As of 1st April 2018, sites operating without the relevant environmental disposal permit, and those knowingly facilitating illegal waste disposal, will be liable to pay Landfill Tax and face fines amounting to an additional 100% of the tax’s value. Operators of illegal sites will remain liable to criminal prosecution.
The new measures reinforce the need for retailers and organisations to take their Duty of Care seriously and ensure their waste collectors are fully compliant with the law.
The TRA is highlighting the impact of these new regulations on used tyre recovery. It has been an offence to send tyres to landfill since 2006, which has led unscrupulous operators to illegally dump tyres (‘fly-tipping’) or create their own waste sites. These activities have a detrimental impact on the environment and remove the possibility of recycling the tyres’ valuable raw materials. The clean-up and lost revenue costs to the British economy amount to tens of millions of pounds every year.
Whether knowingly or not, some retailers and organisations are feeding these illegal waste streams by disposing of their used tyres using collectors who either operate such illegal sites or deliver to them. These collectors typically operate without a mandatory waste carrier licence will also be liable to Landfill Tax and its fines.
The TRA has been actively working to reduce the number of illegal tyre waste sites and established the Responsible Recycler Scheme (RRS) to ensure the lawful and environmentally beneficial disposal of used tyres. It also recently launched the Responsible Retailing campaign detailing the obligations of those disposing of used tyres.
Peter Taylor OBE, Secretary General of the TRA, said: “While it might be considered long overdue, the TRA welcomes the measures announced by the Chancellor in the Autumn Budget. Hitherto it has simply been too easy for some in the tyre recovery chain to side-step their legal Duty of Care. The new measures will make the cost of doing so much greater as the concept of joint liability will be reinforced with penalties up to 100% of the tax due.
“For almost two decades now the TRA has operated the Responsible Recycler Scheme, which has cross-industry support and is considered a beacon of best practice. There is no excuse for anyone who takes the risk with disposing of their tyre waste via non-audited collectors and recyclers.”
To find out more about the Responsible Recycler Scheme or Responsible Retailing campaign, please visit tyrerecovery.org.uk