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Thursday, 27 June, 2002, 07:49 GMT 08:49 UK
EU rules spark tyre dumping fears
pile of tyres
Dumping tyres on landfill sites will be phased out
Britain could find itself swamped with illegally-dumped tyres when new EU rules on their disposal come into force next year.

The Environment Agency has given the warning and it fears the increased cost of disposing of the tyres could prompt a boost in the black market.

It reports that there have already been huge dumps created by tyres in several parts of the country.


As a nation, we have a problem with the disposal of tyres. And it's a problem that can only get worse if action isn't taken now

Sir John Harman, Environment Agency Chairman

Such dumping costs the tax payer around 2m a year to clear up, not to mention the environmental risk of fire and pollution.

Phased out

Around 50m tyres are discarded each year in the UK -- at the moment about a third of them are put into landfill sites.

But from next year that means of disposal is due to be phased out across Europe and getting rid of tyres legally will become more expensive.

The Environment Agency estimates up to 13m tyres are already stockpiled in England and Wales at sites never intended to store them.

Fly-tipping has become a major eyesore in many areas
Fly-tipping has become a major eyesore

The Environment Agency says fly tipping of tyres is already a major problem.

Some areas of the country have massive illegal dumps - one in Powys in Wales is believed to contain about 9m tyres.

There are six additional stockpiles in England and Wales holding more than 100,000 tyres.

The agency wants the courts to impose much larger fines on people caught dumping tyres.

It is also calling on garages to ensure they only hand over used tyres to authorised contractors.

Environment Agency Chairman Sir John Harman warned today: "As a nation, we have a problem with the disposal of tyres.

"And it's a problem that can only get worse if action isn't taken now.

"It's not just the person who dumps these tyres who's to blame, it's also the fitter happy to hand over his waste tyres to a collector without checking he is legitimate."

 WATCH/LISTEN
 ON THIS STORY
The BBC's Richard Bilton
"Illegal tipping has become low risk and high profit"
See also:

08 May 02 | Wales
20 Jun 02 | UK Politics
21 Nov 01 | UK
30 Nov 01 | England
04 Mar 02 | Europe
12 Feb 02 | Wales
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