A fly-tipper who dumped 51 tons of tires that caught fire, disrupting flights with so much smoke, has been jailed for 11 months.
Declan Clark, 30, of Dumbarton, Scotland, collects tires from places like garages for a fee.
But instead of disposing of them properly, they dumped them in car parks and on vacant land around Glasgow.
Prosecutors said that between June and August 2020, a large number of tires were blown up in the Drumchapel area, most of which were dumped in Dalseter Crescent.
On July 24, 2020, a mountain of garbage went up in flames, causing so much smoke, flights out of Glasgow airport were disrupted. Clark was not associated with the fire.
When Glasgow City Council workers cleaned up the remnants of the fire, they found that the debris contained 51 tons of tires and 17 tons of household waste.
Between 8 and 22 October 2020, about 500 tires were also dumped at Gartloch Farms near Gartcosh, east of Glasgow, while on 13 November of the same year more tires were deposited.
With Gartloch Farms frequently being used as a dumping ground by fly-tippers, officials had consequently installed wildlife cameras in the area.
Cameras captured Clark using several different hire vans to dump tires on the ground.
When police raided Clark’s home on November 20, 2020, he tried to dodge officers by hiding under his bed.
During the search, the police found the keys of a rental van which was parked outside his flat and was full of tyres.
A mobile phone was also seized containing messages between Clark and the owners of the vehicle garage and the tire fitter who arranged the collection of tyres.
From the messages it appears that Clarke was charging £1-£2 per tyre and in a message on 18 November 2020 he said: ‘It is getting a bit hot to get rid of them.’
Clark pleaded guilty to depositing controlled waste, namely used tires, on the ground or on the ground in accordance with the Waste Management License, in violation of the Environmental Protection Act 1990 when he appeared in court in April.
He was sentenced to 11 months on his return to Glasgow Sheriff’s Court for today.
Speaking after Clark’s sentencing, Fiona Caldwell, financial prosecutor for Wildlife and Environmental Crime, said: ‘Fly-tipping causes genuine and legitimate concern of the public.
‘This is criminal behavior that causes eye irritation and is expensive to clean up and one that the local council must do frequently.
Declan Clarke’s deliberate and criminal action showed a lack of consideration for the environment and undermined legitimate waste management companies.
‘There is no excuse for illegal dumping of waste and those who choose to indulge in it will be held responsible for their actions.’
Prosecutors said the cost of cleaning up Dalseter Crescent was £7,245.16, while cleaning up Gartloch Farms was estimated at £120,000 and an additional £2,800 to dispose of the remaining tyres.
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