Resource Use

EA prosecutes illicit Southampton tyre stockpiler


The operator of a Southampton-based business has been given a four month suspended prison sentence, ordered to do 100 hours community service and pay costs of £5,495 for illegally stockpiling thousands of waste tyres at an industrial estate.

Alan Skinner, who operated a road haulage businesses from Unit D8 of Marchwood Industrial Park in Southampton, Hampshire, appeared at West Hampshire Magistrates’ Court last Monday (4 November) over allegations that he had exceeded the limit set on his permit to store waste tyres.

Skinner pleaded not guilty to the offence but was convicted by the court on Thursday 7 November. 

Thousands of tyres

The court heard that in April 2011, Mr Skinner registered exemptions with the Environment Agency (EA) for the storage, use, and recovery of waste tyres at his business. The strict conditions imposed for this activity meant that no more than 40 tonnes of waste tyres could be stored or treated under his exemption.

However, following 'concerns' from the landowners that Mr Skinner was storing an 'unacceptable' number of tyres at the premises, EA officers visited the site in August 2011 and found that Skinner had not only 'considerably exceeded' his permitted exemption, but was storing 'thousands more' tyres in an unpermitted adjacent unit.

Skinner was advised he had six weeks to reduce the number of tyres on site to the exemption limit, or apply for an environment permit which, if granted, would allow him to operate on the scale he wanted. 

Despite the warning, when EA officers visited the premises in November 2011, it was found that Skinner had 'deliberately imported even more' tyres and had abandoned the premises. The landowner had to pay over £26,000 to have the 390 tonnes of waste tyres (ten times the quantity permitted by the exemption) removed and disposed of at an authorised facility. 

“Waste crime does not pay”

Commenting on the case, Stuart Moroney of the Environment Agency said: “Mr Skinner was well aware of his obligations regarding the number of tyres he was allowed on site but made little attempt to comply, despite our efforts to advise him on how to run a legitimate business.

“As a result Mr Skinner left tens of thousands of waste tyres at the site that could have posed a severe fire risk to the community. This was in addition to causing an eyesore and leaving the landlord of the premises to foot the bill for their proper removal.  I hope the case sends a clear message to others who may attempt to profit from illegal activities such as this that waste crime does not pay.”

The case forms the latest part of the EA's crackdown on illegal waste sites, which reportedly saw the EA shut down a ‘record’ total of 1,279 sites closed between April 2012 and March 2013 alone.

Read more about the EA’s waste crime prevention or find out what the average day on an Investigation Officer entails in Resource 74.