A company and its director have been fined almost £13,000 for running an illegal tyre waste site in Gateshead.
This follows an investigation by the Environment Agency.
Appearing at South Shields Magistrates’ Court, GLM Technical Ltd and Gareth Hunter pleaded guilty to running the site, illegally depositing tyres at other sites, and making inaccurate statements in waste transfer notes.
The court heard that the company collected waste tyres from paying customers and took them to its premises to be processed and disposed of via a third party. The company had neither an environmental permit or registration for ‘waste exemption’ at the site.
Environment Agency officers obtained waste transfer notes from several companies which were either inaccurate or fabricated, including covering for transfers of waste which never happened, and one that confirmed tyres had been deposited at the GLM Technical site illegally.
Although a waste exemption was later registered for the site, an inspection found that there was over 190 tonnes of tyres on the site – almost five times the permitted amount. This had been reduced to 40 tonnes by the end of 2022, before dropping to 14 tonnes in February 2023, making it compliant with the registered exemption.
Mark Rumble, enforcement team leader at the Environment Agency in the North East, said: “Environmental permits are in place to protect people and the environment and the unsolicited storage of large amounts of tyres can pose a serious fire risk.
“Our officers worked hard to ensure this site was brought back into compliance and that the company and director were put before the courts for their illegal activity.
“We hope this sends out a message to others that we take waste crime seriously and will take action.”
The company was fined £4,615 and ordered to pay costs and a victim surcharge totalling £4,096, and Gareth Hunter was fined £2,769 and ordered to pay costs and a victim surcharge totalling £1,458.