May 14, 2015Director Jailed for Running Huge Unlicensed Tyre Dump
The tyres industry has featured in the national news recently, with a story of the illegal storing of a vast quantity of tyres coming to light. The company director of the Scottish firm responsible for this illegal act, Paul Cook of Earthmover Tyre Recycling, has subsequently been jailed, after 114,000 tyres were recorded as having been stored by the company.
Though the headline may not scream controversy, and it may even be questioned whether a jail sentence is apt, this is a case that must be taken seriously. Under the Environmental Protection Act 1990, it is illegal to deposit and keep controlled waste on an area of land without a waste management license; a term which this firm were not keeping to.
The body for correct tyre handling procedures and treatment, UK Waste Tyre Management Best Practice guide, states that further to these requirements, tyres must be stacked and stored in a certain way:
1. At least 50 ft away from a perimeter fence
2. 10ft from property boundaries
3. No more than 8m wide and 15m tall
4. Aisles of at least 6m width should be present between stacks
These requirements are put in place to protect tyres from posing a fire hazard to the space in which they are being stored. By blatantly disregarding these requirements and regulations, Cook’s actions were not only irresponsible in terms of his own premises and staff, but also posed a serious risk for the neighbouring Wishaw General Hospital which resides mere yards from the tyre stash.
The issues arose in a parliamentary debate in June, in which Scottish MP John Pentland spoke specifically about the unlicensed site at Netherton Industrial Estate in Wishaw, North Lanarkshire. During the debate, Pentland questioned Paul Wheelhouse – the environment and climate change Minister – about the requirements for the safe storage of tyres and other materials, raising awareness about the problematic findings at the Wishaw site.
Though something which may not be at the forefront of environmental considerations and issues for many, tyres and their correct storage are products which, due to their material and composition, must be stored correctly in order to be respectful to environmental protocol and considerations.
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