A businessman has been fined £34,000 for offences relating to the storage of waste tyres at five sites across Scotland.
James McHale, who had been trading under the business name ‘McIntyres’, was sentenced at Falkirk Sheriff Court on Friday (2 December) after pleading guilty to persistent breaches of waste management licensing requirements which occurred at the sites between September 2013 and August 2014.
This followed a prosecution by the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA) which told the court last week that it had served various formal enforcement notices to address the breaches.
The legal action came after monitoring of the sites in Grangemouth, Alloa, Dundee, Lathalmond and Huntly.
At the Grangemouth, SEPA claimed that Mr McHale had exceeded the maximum permitted storage height for tyres, failed to install fire resistant walls, stored a quantity of tyres without the authority of a waste management licence, and kept tyres on site for a period exceeding three months.
Mr McHale also pleaded guilty to keeping in excess of 15,000 end of life tyres at a site at Kellibank Industrial Estate in Alloa, and 1,000 tyres and burned tyre residue at Baldovie Industrial Estate in Dundee.
At Crossroads Garage in Huntly he admitted to keeping in excess of 1,180 loose tyres and in excess of 14,340 baled tyres – and to keeping in excess of 6,900 tyres at M90 Commerce Park in Lathalmond in Fife.
Kath McDowall, unit manager for SEPA’s Falkirk and Stirling investigating team, said: “The illegal storage of large numbers of tyres at the sites operated by James McHale present a significant risk to the environment and community due to the risk of fire.
“James McHale has persistently undermined the regulatory regime, and SEPA has had to invest considerable resources into investigating these offences across Scotland. By illegally stockpiling tyres James McHale has also gained financially by being able to undercut legitimate waste tyre collection businesses.”
She added: “It is important to remember that we must all remain vigilant as criminal activities associated with waste tyres are such that problem tyre sites can establish themselves very quickly.”
Mr McHale could not be reached for comment.