A North East company and director has been ordered to pay fines and costs of £13,000 for operating an illegal waste tyre storage site in Gateshead where over 190 tonnes of waste tyres were stored.
The fine follows an investigation by the Environment Agency – with officers taking the case to court for failing to comply with environmental laws. GLM Technical Ltd and Gareth Hunter, 41, pleaded guilty to running an illegal waste site, illegally depositing tyres at other sites, and making inaccurate statements in waste transfer notes.
The defendants appeared at South Shields Magistrates’ Court and the company was fined £4,615 and ordered to pay costs and a victim surcharge totalling £4,096. While Hunter was fined £2,769 and ordered to pay costs and a victim surcharge totalling £1,458.
Mark Rumble, Enforcement Team Leader at the Environment Agency in the North East, commented: “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.”
Environmental permits are in place to protect people and the environment.
The court heard that in early August 2022, GLM Technical Limited started trading from Newcastle Road in Gateshead. The company collected waste tyres from paying customers and took them back to the Newcastle Road site where they were processed and disposed of via a third party, despite neither having an environmental permit nor a “waste exemption” for the site.
In October 2022, Environment Agency officers attended the site and found a large quantity of tyres. During an investigation, officers obtained waste transfer notes from several companies, which the Environment Agency says were largely inaccurate or fabricated.
On 1 November 2022, a waste exemption was registered for the site, but a week later when the Environment Agency carried out an inspection there were over 190 tonnes of waste tyres on site, almost five times the 40 tonnes allowed under an exemption.
During a follow-up visit, the Environment Agency estimated the number of tyres on site had reduced to 40 tonnes. In February 2023, this was down to just over 14 tonnes and in compliance with the registered exemption.
However, further investigation into waste transfer notes revealed that GLM Technical had illegally deposited 2,000 tyres at another location at Maiden Law in County Durham, the Environment Agency says.