Scotland – Scottish businessman James McHale has been fined Â£34 000 (US$ 42 000) for illegally storing ‘thousands of tyres’ at sites around the country, according to the Falkirk Sheriff Court. McHale, who traded under the name McIntyres, was under investigation by the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (Sepa) in light of a ‘string of previous environmental breaches’.
Nearly 40 000 end-of-life (ELTs) tyres were dumped – of which 15 000 units were stockpiled in Alloa, another 15 000 in Huntly, some 7000 in Fife, and another 1000 in Dundee.
‘James McHale has persistently undermined the regulatory regime, and Sepa has had to invest considerable resources into investigating these offences across Scotland,’ comments Kath McDowall, of Sepa’s Falkirk and Stirling investigating team. She notes that McHale’s illegal handling of ELTs were found to date back to 2013.
Besides ‘undercutting’ legitimate tyre collection businesses, she argues that his actions posed a ‘significant risk’ to both the environment and communities due to the risk of fire. ‘We must all remain vigilant as criminal activities associated with waste tyres are such that problem tyre sites can establish themselves very quickly,’ McDowall asserts.
Previously, Sepa has declared that it will be deploying tracking devices, satellites and drones to better identify illegal waste movements and disposal sites.
Anyone who has witnessed unusual activities is encouraged to call Sepa’s pollution hotline on 0800 807060.