Dumped Tyres Highlight Loophole

Tyre dumping highlights flaw in waste tyre laws that allows private disposal of waste

Fly tipper caught dumping five tyres highlights the problem with the waste tyre chain

Dumping Five Tyres Cost £400

A man who dumped worn-out tyres in a Harborough (UK) country lane was fined £400 after being caught red-handed

The offender, who comes from Ullesthorpe, near Lutterworth, was caught after he was filmed on covert CCTV cameras.

He was fined by Harborough District Council after he piled up the tyres in the countryside north of Market Harborough on December 2.

Cllr Jonathan Bateman, Harborough council's Cabinet lead for environment and waste, said: "We have said it before, and we'll say it again, if you fly-tip in this district you never know who is watching.

“We deploy mobile CCTV cameras at fly-tipping hotspots and we also get tip-offs from the public about incidents.

“They have resulted in a number of fines over the previous few months.

Householders are responsible for any waste produced on their property and its legal disposal.

The case highlights one of the issues that the waste tyre chain faces.  The lack of enforcement of waste regulations at the retailer. This is a subject that Peter Taylor of the TRA has repeatedly mentioned. It is all very well chasing the rogue operators, and the failing Permitted sites, but much of the root of the problem lies at the retailers.

A customer can have tyres changed on his driveway. At that point, the tyre fitter can say, “I will take these tyres away, but there is a disposal fee. Or I can leave them with you for your own disposal.”

That creates a point of arising where the individual has a set of tyres that he thinks he can just take down to the local dump and save himself a few pounds. The reality is that, increasingly, community tips are seeking higher than the retailer charges. So, there is an increased propensity to fly-tip.

Equally, at the retailer, the tyres removed are his waste product, and he has a duty of care to legally to dispose of them. He will pay a fee for that, which he will include in his process, either openly, or hidden in the sale price.

Some retailers will allow customers to (illegally) take their tyres away to save on the cost of disposal.

Either route creates the scenario where there are tyres arising and being disposed of illegally.

The solution to this is quite simple – al tyres removed from any vehicle are waste and need to be treated as such by the person who removes them – few individuals will have the will or skill to remove and fit tyres at home, so all waste tyres should be handled through the retailer or fitter, surely?

In a response to Tyre and Rubber Recycling's FOI request on waste tyre crime, Peter Taylor commented; "Fly-tipping and abandonment are not going away and nor will they until we do more to face up constructively to what drives these and other malpractices.  Waste-specific permitting of ELT collectors would certainly help but as we in the TRA have argued all too long we need to engage much more effectively with all those tyre retailers, garages, vehicle dismantlers and local authorities who generate waste tyres.  Happily, most are paragons of good practice but a few are not and they mostly break the law with impunity – a fact that is at the crux of the issue."

About the author

Ewan has been editor of Retreading Business since 2006 and of Tyre & Rubber Recycling since the magazine was founded. During this period he has become an expert on the global tyre recycling sector. He has many years' experience as an automotive journalist including a period at Tyres & Accessories.

Email: ewan.scott@tyreandrubberrecycling.com

 

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