Rotherham pair fined over illegal tyre dumps
A ROTHERHAM couple who ran two illegal waste sites in Sheffield have been fined a total of £200.
Joanna Nkusia (35), of Saville Street, Dalton, and Robert Edwin Clarke (65), of Swallownest, were charged with several environmental offences relating to the running of Used Tyre Exports, a company which bought and sold tyres.
Nkusia and Clarke were fined £100 each and ordered to pay costs of £750.
Joana Nkusia pleaded guilty to two charges of operating an illegal waste site.
Robert Edwin Clarke pleaded not guilty to operating an illegal waste site at Vicarage Road, but guilty to a charge of operating an illegal waste site at Riverside Works.
Both defendants pleaded not guilty to the illegal export of tyres.
In a case brought by the Environment Agency, Sheffield Magistrates’ Court heard that the couple first came to the attention of the authorities in March 2009.
Holly Webb, prosecuting, told the court that an Environment Agency officer ahd visited the defendants’ premises on Vicarage Road,Sheffield, and noted that there were around 4,000 worn tyres on the site. Nkusia held an exemption allowing the storage of a maximum 1,000 tyres.
At a visit later that month, Environment Agency officers met Clarke at the site who explained that the tyres were shipped to Cameroon.
The Environment Agency accepted the defendants’ agreement with Sheffield City Council to clear the site by May 5 2009, but by May 6, the site contained around 8,000 tyres.
At an interview with Environment Agency officers in July 2009 Nkusia claimed Clarke had nothing to do with running the business.
She admitted that she had used the site since January 2009 and that she had brought more tyres on during March and April after she had been warned to clear the site. Clarke stated he only helped out in the business voluntarily.
But after an anonymous complaint in January 2010, Environment Agency officers attended a site on Deep Lane in Sheffield and found between 5,000 and 7,300 tyres.
The following month the quantity had increased to between 6,300 and 9,500 tyres. A letter was handed to Nkusia on February 12explaining that no more tyres should be brought on to the Deep Lane site and that the tyres should be removed so that a no more tha n1,000 remained.
The court heard that an exemption had also been granted for this site and that Environment Agency officers threatened to remove it if the site contained more than 1,000 tyres by 4 March 4 2010. The Environment Agency removed the exemption on 19th May 2010 due to non compliance.
During an interview in May 2010, Nkusia admitted that she had run her tyre business since January 2009, that she knew about the 1,000 tyre limit and that she had received advice from the Environment Agency about how to run the business legally. Mr Clarke accepted he was a minor shareholder.
Paperwork obtained by Environment Agency officers showed that two containers of tyres had been illegally shipped to Cameroon in May and June 2009. No permission had been obtained by Used Tyre Exports under the Trans Frontier Shipment of Waste procedure.
In their defence Nkusia claimed that the tyres had not been waste because they still had legal amounts of tread.
Clarke said he had helped out voluntarily but had no control over Used Tyre Exports’ waste operation.
Speaking after the case, Environment Agency officer Edd Betts said: "This couple had a total disregard for the law on waste tyres and continued to operate the business even after warnings were given.
“Businesses run without the proper permissions can save money and undercut legitimate business. We will track down people who run their businesses without the right environmental safeguards and bring them to book through the courts.”