Tyre recycler prosecuted for illegal exports
The owner of a Devon recycling firm will have to pay £2,590 in costs after illegally exporting used car tyres to Vietnam. Paul Avery was also ordered to carry out 150 hours of unpaid work in the case which was brought by the Environment Agency (EA). EA officers visited Hill Barton Business Park near Exeter on 12 May 2011 and reportedly discovered thousands of waste tyres at a premises trading as Avery Tyre Recycling. Some had already been made up into bales whiles others were in loose piles.
According to the EA Avery Tyre Recycling is only allowed to store and treat 40 tonnes of tyres per week at the site under the terms of an Environment Agency exemption. Officers estimated there were approximately four times as many tyres as there should have been at the time of their inspection.
Paul Avery told investigating officers he didn’t know where his shipments of waste tyres went or what they were used for. However, his paperwork showed container movements from Hill Barton Business Park to Vietnam. Avery was warned not to accept any further waste tyres on site and to stop exporting.
When officers returned to the site on 29 July 2011 they found an estimated 225 tonnes of tyres in bales and loose piles. The EA reports that the site was so full “it was impossible to access it by vehicle.” Avery said his tyre baling machine had broken down and that he was aware the number of tyres onsite had increased.
It is estimated the defendant exported a total of 32,000 waste tyres using UK freight handling companies. They were shipped by container, each one containing approximately 3,000 tyres. The export of tyres to Vietnam is prohibited under the Transfrontier Shipping Regulations. Vietnam has told the European Union it does not want waste tyres from Europe.
The illegal shipment of tyres allows exporters to undercut legitimate waste operators and deprives the UK waste tyre industry of raw materials. By failing to apply for an appropriate environmental permit, Paul Avery had avoided paying fees totalling £5,521.
“The defendant has been in the waste tyre business for a number of years and should be well aware of the regulations, especially with regard to the export of tyres. He continued to keep excessive numbers of tyres at his premises despite being warned by the Agency. Operators who breach their authorisations have an unfair advantage over those who operate legitimately,” said Matt Lee for the Environment Agency.
Appearing before a District Judge in Exeter, Avery, of De La Rue Way, Exeter pleaded guilty to running a waste operation without an environmental permit contrary to the Environmental Permitting (England and Wales) Regulations 2010 and to illegally exporting waste tyres to Vietnam, an offence under Regulation 23 of the Transfrontier Shipment of Waste Regulations 2007.