New waste tyre licensing rules are in effect in Scotland from today (30 March) in a bid to clamp down on illegal operators in the sector.
Under the new regulations, operators who store or process waste tyres will be required to hold a licence, including those under the current exemptions.
Prior to the changes, regulations allowed operators to register an exemption to store up to 1,000 waste tyres (just under 10 tonnes) on a site at any one time, as long as they logged the exemption with the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA).
Tyres could be stored for up to twelve months, provided that it would lead to a recovery or reuse process.
SEPA have said that operators compliant with current exemptions will have until 30 September 2016 to apply for a Waste Management Licence or cease operations. Those found to be keeping or treating waste tyres without an appropriate licence after this date could face a maximum penalty of £40,000 and/or a six month imprisonment.
Commenting on the new regulations SEPA’s executive director, Calum MacDonald, said: “Illegitimate waste tyre operators undercut compliant companies by flouting the regulations, and putting the environment and communities at risk.
“The new strengthened regulations will be a key asset in helping us to combat illegal waste tyre sites, and hold those responsible to account.
“We can now better regulate the quantities of tyres stores, and ensure that individuals are competent to operate waste tyre storage and treatment sites.”
“The new strengthened regulations will be a key asset in helping us to combat illegal waste tyre sites, and hold those responsible to account.”Calum MacDonald
These regulations follow the introduction of the Waste Management Licensing (Scotland) Amendment Regulations 2016. New legislation was introduced to tackle unlicensed operators after several incidents north of the border.
This includes a case, highlighted by the Scottish Government, where more than 100,000 tyres were illegally stored near Wishaw General Hospital, in North Lanarkshire (see letsrecycle.com story).