Cleckheaton illegal tyre operation ends in 100 hours community order and fine

Tyres piled up at the site
Tyres piled up at the site

A man has been ordered to carry out 100 hours of unpaid work after running an illegal tyre recycling business in Cleckheaton.

Stewart William Eatwell, 50, of Harrop Grove, Morley, was sentenced at Leeds Magistrates’ Court after admitting an offence of running the operation without the required environmental permit. In addition to being handed a community order, Eatwell was ordered to pay £1,000 in costs.

Eatwell was the director of Legacy Tyre Recycling Ltd, a business which collected and stored used tyres at a site at Rawfolds Way, Cleckheaton.

Laura Taylor, prosecuting for the Environment Agency, told the court that the firm was allowed to handle up to 40 tonnes of tyres within any seven-day period under a waste exemption rather than a permit, but spot checks by investigating officers revealed the operation was not compliant with this limit.

Between November 2015 and January 2016, the defendant was warned that his business needed an environmental permit. Eatwell said he was intending to scale down the operation, but in February 2016 excess tyres were still present.

The Environment Agency and West Yorkshire Fire and Rescue visited the site together that month and identified that the stored tyres had no fire breaks, and there were no fire prevention plans in place. A further visit revealed that another 300 tyres had been received.

In March, inspecting officers found the site to be closed and locked up. A legal notice was served on the company requiring the removal of the tyres by May 2016, but they were still there at the time of the deadline. Legacy Tyre Recycling Ltd was liquidated in June 2016, and the landlord paid £5,000 for the removal of the waste using money from their tenant’s bond.

Mark Parker, Environment Agency environmental crime officer, said: “This case highlights how important it is for site operators to comply with exemptions and permits, particularly the waste storage limits. Failure to keep within the limits increases the risks posed to others nearby and to the environment.”