Port Talbot site cleared of illegal waste tyres

Several thousand tonnes of illegally dumped waste tyres have been cleared from a site in Port Talbot after Natural Resources Wales used enforcement powers against the landowner.

10,000 waste tyres and 1,500 tonnes of shredded tyres were removed from the former Byass Works site in south Wales.

Illegal tyre waste at the former Byass Works site in Port Talbot.
Illegal tyre waste at the former Byass Works site in Port Talbot.
The company that ran the site had ceased to exist, meaning Natural Resources Wales had to turn to the landowner and use powers provided for in waste legislation to hold them responsible for the clearance of the site when a company defaults on a notice to clear waste.

The illegally stored tyre waste was found in a warehouse on the site by Natural Resources Wales officers in 2014, with the company responsible, Egan Tyre and Plastic Recycling Ltd, ordered to clear the waste.

However, the company’s owner, Dennis Egan, was sent to prison and the company was liquidated before the waste could be cleared.

Natural Resources Wales used emergency powers to move the waste out of the warehouse and into large piles outside to reduce fire risk, before compelling the landowner to clear the site after a fire broke out in July 2016.

The course of action eliminated a significant fire risk and saved the taxpayer £350,000 in clearance bills.

Commenting on the action, Jonathan Willington, South West Waste Regulation Team Leader, Natural Resources Wales, said: “This has been a complex issue to resolve, but one that has now come to a safe conclusion.

“The illegal waste posed a significant fire risk to the surrounding area, which includes the M4 motorway, schools, a hospital, as well as residential areas.

“There has been enormous pressure for NRW to take action and remove the waste ourselves, but we do not want waste criminals to think we are here to clear their mess. We stood our ground and used our enforcement methods to make sure the tyres waste was cleared and the Welsh taxpayers’ pocket was saved.

“I must also give credit to the landowner who took a massive financial hit to clear the site.”

If you suspect someone is storing waste illegally in Wales, report it to NRW online or on 0300 065 3000.