Suspended sentence for illegal tyre storage, export
A Chesterfield man received a suspended prison sentence after illegally storing thousands of tyres and transporting some of them to Vietnam. Andrew Revell appeared at Derby Crown Court on 27 January and admitted five charges in relation to an illegal waste operation called Revco Recycling Limited, which he ran from a unit on the former GKN site in Sheepsbridge, Chesterfield. The case was brought against Revell by the Environment Agency, and the 50-year old was sentenced to a 12 month prison sentence suspended for two years on each of the five charges, ordered to do 200 hours unpaid work and ordered to pay full court costs of £9,578.75.
Barrister Ben Lawrence, acting on behalf of the Environment Agency, said officers first visited Revco Recycling Limited in October 2009. They saw up to 4,000 tyres stored on the Sheepsbridge site, which had not been issued with an Environmental Permit. Repeat visits were made to the site, during which Revell and his wife were informed about permit regulations and told to reduce the amount of waste.
In May 2010, staff searched the site office and found documents which showed that around 15,600 tyres were received by the company between November 16 and December 11, 2009. They also found evidence that Revell had supplied a further 1,283 tyres to a company called KA Tyres. They estimated that around 25,000 tyres were present at the site, and following the visit Revell told staff that he had stopped collecting and baling waste tyres. He maintained though that he was allowed to store the remaining tyres under an existing exemption agreement.
Lawrence told the court that in July staff then learned that Revco Recycling Limited was also using another unit on the Sheepsbridge site that hadn’t been disclosed to them. A search of the property revealed around 400 bales of tyres inside, 260 bales outside and a further 160 loose tyres. The court heard this brought the total of tyres amassed by Revell and his company to around 65,700, along with some cement bonded asbestos boards.
The Environment Agency team arrested Andrew Revell in June 2010 and among the documentation found on the site were shipping notes for waste tyres from Ireland, and to export to Vietnam. Ben Lawrence told magistrates that exporting waste tyres to Vietnam was illegal; documentation showed the company was being paid around 40p per tyre and it could export tyres at 3,000 per load – at an approximate profit of £990 per container.
In mitigation, the court heard that Revell had cleared the site himself, costing over £30,000. The profits the Environment Agency claims were made were actually substantially less when running costs were taken into account. The court was also told Revell ran the business solely to support his family and that he had no previous convictions. His guilty plea was also taken into consideration.
After the case, Environment Agency officer Lindsay Jones said: “Revell not only showed blatant disregard for our own environmental laws but also European law which governs the wellbeing of people in another country. This court case shows that people who seek to maximise their profits at the expense of the environment can expect to be tracked down and placed before the courts.”