A company and its director have been ordered to pay fines and costs totalling almost £13,000 for running an illegal waste tyre site, following an investigation by the Environment Agency.

GLM Technical Ltd, of Wardley, Gateshead, and Gareth Hunter, 41, of Jarvis Drive, Crawcrook, pleaded guilty to running an illegal waste site, illegally depositing tyres at other sites, and making inaccurate statements in waste transfer notes.

They appeared at South Shields Magistrates’ Court at the end of last month, where the company was fined £4,615 and ordered to pay costs and a victim surcharge totalling £4,096, and Hunter was fined £2,769 and ordered to pay costs and a victim surcharge totalling £1,458.

The Northern Echo: Waste tyres stored on the illegal siteWaste tyres stored on the illegal site (Image: ENVIRONMENT AGENCY)

Mark Rumble, Enforcement Team Leader at the Environment Agency in the North East, said:  “Environmental permits are in place to protect people and the environment and the unsolicited storage of large amounts of tyres can pose a serious fire risk.

“Our officers worked hard to ensure this site was brought back into compliance and that the company and director were put before the courts for their illegal activity.

“We hope this sends out a message to others that we take waste crime seriously and will take action.”

The Northern Echo: The company was visited multiple times by enforcement officersThe company was visited multiple times by enforcement officers (Image: ENVIRONMENT AGENCY)

The court heard that in early August 2022, GLM Technical Limited started trading from Newcastle Road in Gateshead.

The company collected waste tyres from paying customers and took them back to the Newcastle Road site where they were processed and disposed of via a third party.

Either an environmental permit must be in place for this activity, or the company must register a ‘waste exemption’ for the site, which means limited activity can take place without the need for a permit. The company had neither.

Two months later, in October 2022, Environment Agency officers attended and saw a large quantity of tyres being stored on the site.

During an investigation, officers obtained waste transfer notes from several companies which were largely inaccurate or fabricated, including covering for transfers of waste which never happened, and one that confirmed tyres had been deposited at the GLM Technical site illegally.

On November 1, 2022, a waste exemption was registered for the site, but a week later when the Environment Agency carried out an inspection there were over 190 tonnes of waste tyres on site, almost five times the 40 tonnes allowed under an exemption.

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GLM were advised to stop operating and clear the site by 2 December 2022.

Further investigation into waste transfer notes revealed that GLM Technical had illegally deposited 2,000 tyres at another location at Maiden Law in County Durham.

On December 5, 2022, a follow up visit by the Environment Agency estimated the number of tyres on site had reduced to 40 tonnes.

In February 2023, this was down to just over 14 tonnes and in compliance with the registered exemption.