‘Opportunistic’ man jailed for 11 months after ‘large-scale’ fly-tipping

A 30-year-old man has been sentenced to 11 months imprisonment for “large-scale” fly-tipping offences involving tyres across Glasgow, the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA) says.

Declan Clarke was found to have “dumped” more than 51 tonnes of tyres and household waste at “a number of sites” in June and October 2020, SEPA says, particularly in the Drumchapel and Gartloch areas.

Declan Clarke, 30, was sentenced at Glasgow Sheriff Court on 8 June (picture: Police Scotland)

Tyres dumped in Drumchapel in July of that year caused a fire, smoke from which disrupted flights from Glasgow Airport, according to prosecutors.

Mr Clarke was sentenced at Glasgow Sheriff Court on 8 June, SEPA says, after first pleading guilty on 21 April.

Sergeant Nigel McDonald, from Drumchapel police station, described Mr Clarke as an “opportunistic criminal” who used his “illegitimate” business to collect tonnes of waste for a fee before “dumping” it across the city.

“Not only did this end up costing significant sums for the authorities to clear up, but there has been serious and long-lasting environmental damage to a number of areas where tyres or waste were heaped and set on fire,” Sergeant McDonald said.

“It is sadly highly unusual for fly-tipping cases like this to result in a custodial sentence, but it goes some way to show the seriousness of Clarke’s repeated offences.”

Seargent McDonald thanked Glasgow city council and SEPA for “their efforts as part of our joint-investigation into this matter”.

Deterrent

Kath McDowall, unit manager at SEPA’s serious environmental crime team, said the environmental regulator was “pleased” to work alongside Police Scotland in the “detection and disruption” of the “significant” waste offence. She said she hoped the sentence acted as a “deterrent” to others.

Ms McDowall said: “SEPA will continue to work closely with partners to tackle persistent non-compliance and criminal activity related to waste tyres, which have the potential to release hazardous substances into the environment if set on fire and are a blight on the landscape if not treated, recycled or disposed of properly.”

Glasgow

Stephen Egan, Glasgow city council’s head of parks and streetscene, said the case was a “shocking” example of fly-tipping and welcomed the sentence.

“We had to divert significant resources to clear up the waste dumped by this individual and the subsequent fire was clearly dangerous and detrimental to the local environment,” he said.

“As has been shown by this case, someone guilty of fly-tipping is often just the tip of the iceberg.

“The garages and other businesses that passed their waste to this individual will have known the deal being offered was too good to be true and should have made sure their waste was disposed of lawfully.”

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