At the Tyre Recycling Association’s Forum at The Belfry on 7th March, Howard Leberman, from the UK’s Environment Agency made it clear that the current Exemptions system was due to be changed. The changes were awaiting Ministerial signing off before being finalised.
Leberman said that the changes would be such that whilst not completely removing Exemptions, would put most operators in the situation where they would have to move to Permitted operations.
The changes would look at raising the bar in a number of areas and reducing the volumes at Exempt sites, essentially either moving operators into Permitted operations or making the remaining sites economically unviable. Those remaining Exempt sites would therefore become suspect and would be the target of more field officer investigations.
At the same event, Gary Walker, from the Scottish Environment Agency highlighted the impact of the Scottish ban on Exemptions for tyre operators. He told the audience that whilst SEPA had expected to see a rise in Permitted sites, the reality was that Scotland has only three Permitted sites and none of the Exempt sites moved into Permitting. They were essentially closed down in one fell swoop. Illegal tyre dumping, and breaches of Permits have reduced – though there is the remaining issue of organised serious crime resulting in tyre stockpiles still arising – but these stockpiles are now clearly the result of organised criminal operations.