A tire company based in the UK Northeast and its director have been ordered to pay fines and costs totalling almost £13,000 (US$16,400) for running an illegal waste tire site in Gateshead, following an investigation by the Environment Agency.
GLM Technical Ltd and Gareth Hunter from Jarvis Drive, Crawcrook, pleaded guilty to running an illegal waste site, illegally depositing tires at other sites and making inaccurate statements in waste transfer notes.
They appeared at South Shields Magistrates’ Court at the end of October where GLM was fined £4,615 (US$5,830) and ordered to pay costs and a victim surcharge totalling £4,096, (US$51,75). Hunter was fined £2,769 (US$3,498) and ordered to pay costs and a victim surcharge totalling £1,458 (US$1,842).
Mark Rumble, enforcement team leader at the Environment Agency in the Northeast, 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.”
It became apparent to the court in early August 2022 that GLM started trading from Newcastle Road in Gateshead. The company collected waste tires from paying customers and took them back to the Newcastle Road site where they were processed and disposed of via a third party.
Either an environmental permit must be in place for this activity or the company must register a waste exemption for the site, which means limited activity can take place without the need for a permit. GLM had neither.
In October 2022, Environment Agency officers attended the site and discovered a large quantity of tires being stored on the site. During an investigation, officers obtained waste transfer notes from several companies which were largely inaccurate or fabricated, including notes that confirmed tires had been deposited at the GLM site illegally.
A waste exemption was registered for the site in November 2022, but a week later when the Environment Agency carried out an inspection there was over 190 metric tons of waste tires on site, almost five times the 40 metric tons allowed under an exemption.
GLM were advised to stop operating and clear the site by December 2, 2022. Further investigation into waste transfer notes revealed that GLM had illegally deposited 2,000 tires at another location at Maiden Law in County Durham.
On December 5, 2022, a follow up visit by the Environment Agency estimated the number of tires on site had reduced to 40 metric tons. In February 2023 this was down to slightly more than 14 metric tons and in compliance with the registered exemption.