Mark Smith from Malvern unlawfully stored waste at the Blackmore Park Industrial Estate and his home in Guarlford. Trading under his company Mark Smith Tyres, Smith was advised to get a waste management licence by the Environment Agency (EA) in 2003. He failed to apply for a licence and his business went into liquidation in 2005, so Smith left the industrial estate, leaving behind 450,000 waste tyres in storage.
Smith then continued to trade as a new business and stored 100,000 waste tyres at his home, The Homestead, without a licence.
Smith pleaded guilty at Worcester Crown Court to three charges relating to the illegal deposit and keeping of controlled waste. In sentencing, Judge HHJ Hooper QC said that Smith was guilty of causing “real environmental affront” and offences plainly crossed the custody threshold.
In mitigation, Smith’s legal representative argued that Smith genuinely did not believe the tyres constituted waste becuse they had a commercial value to him. He had exported tyres for reuse and other tyres were baled, with the intention of being sold to the construction industry.
EA officer Terry Broadbent, who led the investigation, said: “As part of the investigation, 56 garages were investigated under the Duty of Care Regulations which resulted in 50,000 tyres being removed from The Homestead by the producers of the waste to a suitable licensed facility at their cost.”
Under Duty of Care Regulations, producers of controlled waste are only allowed to give waste to registered waste carriers who use Duty of Care waste transfer notes.