The director of a tyre disposal company has been fined £34,000 for offences related to the recycling of waste tyres across five sites in Scotland.
Falkirk Sheriff Court heard on Friday (2 December) that James McHale, who previously traded under the business name McIntyres, had persistently breached his waste management licences at each of the tyre supplier’s sites between 26 September 2013 and 8 August 2014.
McHale pled guilty to exceeding the maximum permitted storage height for tyres, failing to install fire resistant walls, storing a quantity of tyres without the authority of a waste management licence, and keeping tyres on his site in Grangemouth for a period exceeding three months.
Other offences he admitted to included keeping in excess of 15,000 end of life tyres at a site at Kelliebank Industrial Estate in Alloa, 1,000 tyres and burned tyre residue at Baldovie Industrial Estate in Dundee, 14,340 baled tyres at Crossroads Garage in Huntly and 6,900 tyres at M90 Commerce Park in Lathalmond in Fife.
The charges followed a prosecution by the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA), which had served various formal enforcement notices to address persistent breaches of waste management licensing requirements by McHale, but none were complied with. The court heard that the illegal storage of tyres posed a significant fire risk.
SEPA regulates the sites using a mixture of different regulation and enforcement measures ranging from a full waste management licence to registered exemptions, which restrict activities via strict thresholds.
Commenting on the prosecution, Kath McDowall, Unit Manager for the Falkirk and Stirling investigating team, said: “The illegal storage of large numbers of tyres at the sites operated by James McHale present a significant risk to the environment and community due to the risk of fire. James McHale has persistently undermined the regulatory regime, and SEPA has had to invest considerable resources into investigating these offences across Scotland.
“By illegally stockpiling tyres, James McHale has also gained financially by being able to undercut legitimate waste tyre collection businesses. It is important to remember that we must all remain vigilant as criminal activities associated with waste tyres are such that problem tyre sites can establish themselves very quickly