A tyre recycling firm faces a fine of £120,000 for illegally storing a mountain of half a million tyres, Northern Ireland's Department of the Environment (DOE) has announced.
The owners of County Down-based OM Recycling Ltd pleaded guilty to four offences each under the Waste and Contaminated Land (NI) Order 1997.
Gerard Farmer, 45, and Gerard O'Malley, 46, admitted allowing excess tyres to be stored at their licensed tyre storage and treatment facility and that they were aware they had breached the terms of their licence.
The company's licence allows storage of up to 150 tonnes of unprocessed tyres and 100 tonnes of shredded tyres inside the site's two sheds, but does not permit large scale stockpiling of tyres, the DOE reported.
The confiscation order for the rubber is one of the largest made under the Proceeds of Crime Act 2002 (POCA) in Northern Ireland.
In addition, each defendant was fined £250 for each of the four charges, amounting to £3,000.
"I hope it sends a message to the waste industry — keep on the right side of the law or action will be taken,” said environment minister Alex Attwood.
The incident stresses the importance of good practice among businesses when carrying out tyre recycling, storage and disposal.
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Posted by Danielle Barge