New waste tyre regulations come into force

date29 March 2016

Tough new licensing rules, which will help the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA) to crack down on illegitimate waste tyre operators, come into effect tomorrow (30 March 2016).

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All operators who store or process waste tyres will now be required to hold a licence following the introduction of the Waste Management Licensing (Scotland) Amendment Regulations 2016.

Operators had previously been permitted to process 10 tonnes of tyres per week and store up to 1,000 waste tyres on a secure site for a period of 12 months providing that they registered an exemption with SEPA, and the storage was with a view to recovery or reuse, but this will no longer be allowed.

SEPA is now writing to operators who had held exemptions to inform them that, so long as they are compliant with their current exemption, they have until 30 September 2016 to either apply for a Waste Management Licence or to cease operations and remove all tyres to a suitably licensed and compliant facility.

If operators continue to keep or treat waste tyres without the appropriate licence after this date they could face a maximum penalty of £40,000 and/or 6 month imprisonment.

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 stored, and ensure that individuals are competent to operate waste tyre storage and treatment sites.

“If you held an exemption for waste tyres it is time to take action as this is no longer valid. You need to apply for a Waste Management Licence for processing waste tyres, or cease operations altogether before 30 September.”