Prison for tyre dumper who ignored warnings
Failure to heed prior Environment Agency warnings has led to a 12 month prison sentence for Staffordshire man Mark Watts. On February 14 the 41-year old Burntwood resident was sentenced at Mold Crown Court for charges relating to the illegal deposit and keeping of controlled waste; namely, the illegal depositing and storage of used tyres on rented land at Abercynllaith and at Broad Oak Business Park, Whitchurch.
For the Environment Agency, counsel Jonathan Salmon told the court that Watts, who had a history of operating waste management facilities, had operated a business under the name of Storm Recycling from approximately August 2008, receiving payment to remove and dispose of waste tyres from tyre fitting businesses across Shropshire and North Wales. In 2008 and 2009, he carried out the unauthorised deposit and storage of used tyres at the two above-mentioned locations.
Despite receiving warnings from the Environment Agency and land agents he continued to deposit tyres at these two sites. Watts was served with two Notices to remove the tyres under Section 59 of the Environmental Protection Act but neither Notice was properly complied with, leaving many thousands of tyres to be removed at the landowner’s expense.
“By carrying out waste operations at Broad Oak and Abercynllaith without an Environmental Permit, Mr. Watts avoided the costs of a Permit as well as proper handling and disposal costs, undercutting lawful competitors and maximising his profit,” said the Environmental Agency in a statement. “A waste operation such as this would also require planning permission which in this case had not been applied for or granted.”
Speaking after the case, Helen Cripps, an Environment Agency officer involved in the investigation said: “The Environment Agency will not hesitate to take the appropriate actions against offenders who operate large scale waste facilities without the proper registered permits. Had these tyres been set alight, perhaps through vandalism or by accident, the fire would have been very difficult to put out and would have produced a vast range of substances, many of which could harm the environment or human health. All producers of controlled waste should ensure that they only give their waste to registered waste carriers who use Duty of Care waste transfer notes and most importantly ensure that their waste is going to a permitted or exempt facility.”
In mitigation, Watts’ defence counsel said the defendant was very remorseful and that he had been affected by family illness and problematic financial circumstances. During sentencing, HHJ Judge Parry stated Watts had acted deliberately and had been motivated by financial gain.
Update: Watts’s Storm Recycling is completely unrelated to Cheshire Storm Recycling Ltd. Storm Recycling Ltd managing director told tyrepress.com: “two years ago when we first heard he was trying to use our name we sent a letter and contacted the Environment Agency in relation to this… We are a Limited company based in Winsford, Cheshire and have been trading since 2002. We are very reputable company with large blue chip companies as customers.”