Tyre company hit with £100,000 fine for breaking rules in Northants

July 17, 2023

A company which flouted the rules to store highly flammable tyres on a Northamptonshire site has been fined £100,000 and ordered to pay costs of £7,463.

Exhaust Tyres and Batteries (Worcester) Limited exceeded the amount of waste they were legally allowed to deposit at Synergy Tyres Limited, Daventry, in total depositing around 250,000 of waste tyres.

Synergy Tyres Limited, Daventry, had two exemptions to store waste and mechanically treat end-of-life tyres. However, it did not have an environmental permit to store or treat large numbers of tyres on site and was required to keep these to a minimum (40 tonnes over seven days).

Environment Agency officers discovered that Exhaust Tyres and Batteries Limited had deposited thousands of tyres over the course of a year. They did this without checking that the site was authorised to accept those tyres.

Prosecuting for the Environment Agency, solicitor Sarah Dunne, told the court that Exhaust Tyres and Batteries (Worcester) Limited had shown “wilful blindness.” She said it was “common knowledge that there is a fire risk from the storage of waste tyres and that any responsible company should be aware of the regulations.”

The court also heard how the waste was stored close to residential premises and a neighbouring industrial site.

The Environment Agency first became aware that Exhaust Tyres and Batteries (Worcester) Limited regularly deposited tyres unlawfully at the Synergy site in February 2021. When checked by the Environment Agency, the company’s records show that this illegal activity had happened between January 2020 until late February 2021.

Officers also found Exhaust Tyres and Batteries (Worcester) records of the delivery and transfer of the waste tyres were incomplete tyres, breaching statutory regulations.

Sentencing Exhaust Tyres and Batteries (Worcester) Limited, District Judge Nick Watson said he was satisfied that the £100,000 fine imposed would, “…send a message to the Directors and Shareholders that they need to comply with environmental legislation.”

Paul Salter, Senior Environmental Crime Officer from the Environment Agency, said: “This prosecution sends out the message that we will not hesitate to prosecute companies which endanger communities and disregard the environment and the law.

“As the largest contributor of waste tyres to the Synergy site, the defendant had been reckless. The company’s actions displayed an alarming lack of knowledge and environmental awareness. There is an inherent fire risk when tyres are stored in such large quantities, which poses significant risks to nearby residents and premises. Waste crime also undercuts lawful businesses as regulations are undermined to save time and costs.”

When interviewed under caution, a representative for Exhaust Tyres and Batteries (Worcester) Limited claimed that the company was unaware of its environmental law obligations.

This is valid as of 17th July 2023.

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