Garages and tyre dealers are being warned that they could face significant fines or custodial sentences if they fail to recycle their used tyres correctly.
The warning has been issued by the Tyre Recovery Association following the recent prosecution of nine individuals who were fined nearly £75,000 for illegally dumping rubbish which included used tyres.
“Garages have a legal duty of care to ensure that any used tyres they remove from vehicles are disposed of in a legal and environmentally sound manner,” explains Peter Taylor OBE, secretary general, Tyre Recovery Association (TRA). “These recent prosecutions show that any collectors operating illegally will be tracked down and prosecuted. In addition, any retail premises that are complicit in the operation may also find themselves open to prosecution.”
Since 2006, the disposal of tyres in landfill sites has been completely banned and currently, more than 45 million used tyres are correctly recycled and disposed of each year under the industry’s Responsible Recycler Scheme (RRS). The scheme is the largest voluntary tyre recovery programme in Europe and ensures that used tyres are collected, handled and reprocessed in line with all UK and European regulations. Independent audits and full traceability means that tyres handled by RRS member companies can be tracked throughout the disposal chain.
Despite the industry’s successes in this area, illegal dumping of tyres continues to cost legitimate businesses, communities and the environment. In response to this, the Environment Agency have launched a campaign together with the tyre industry to ‘Get a Grip’ on illegal tyre activities. Phil Gibbons of the Environment Agency comments, “In particular we are working with the TRA to raise awareness on how best to deal with waste tyres legally and responsibly. However, key to tackling this crime is the gathering of information and intelligence on illegal operators and activity. We are asking for support from businesses to report any information to us that could indicate illegal tyre activity.” All information provided to the Agency is done so in complete confidence. The Environment Agency’s national contact centre can be reached by calling 08708 506 506.
To ensure they do not support the illegal dumping of waste tyres, retailers and others should ensure that their tyre collector has a waste carriers licence, they are issued with a waste transfer note, the tyres go to a licensed recycling facility and that the waste trail is fully audited. Garages who are unsure if their tyre collector meets these criteria can find the details of their closet RRS registered collector by visiting the Tyre Recovery Association website (www.tyrerecovery.org.uk).