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Councils should ensure they aren’t liable due to latest Landfill Tax changes

Measures announced in the Autumn Budget this week could make councils unwittingly using non-audited tyre recovery collectors liable to landfill tax and penalties. As of 1st April 2018, sites operating without the relevant environmental disposal permit, and those knowingly facilitating illegal waste disposal, will be liable to pay Landfill Tax and face fines amounting to an additional 100% of the tax’s value. Operators of illegal sites will remain liable to criminal prosecution.

The new measures reinforce the need for councils to review their Duty of Care procedures and ensure their waste collectors are fully compliant with the law.

The TRA is highlighting the impact of these new regulations on used tyre recovery. It has been an offence to send tyres to landfill since 2006, but unscrupulous operators continue to illegally dump tyres (‘fly-tipping’) or create their own waste sites. These activities have a detrimental impact on the environment and remove the possibility of recycling the tyres’ valuable raw materials. The clean-up and lost revenue costs to the British economy amount to tens of millions of pounds every year.

Whether knowingly or not, some councils are feeding these illegal waste streams by disposing of used tyres collected at municipal waste sites using collectors who either operate such illegal sites or deliver to them. Just having a waste carrier licence is not enough to avoid legal liability for those who ignore their Duty of Care.

The TRA has been actively working to reduce the number of illegal tyre waste sites and established the Responsible Recycler Scheme (RRS) almost two decades ago to ensure the lawful and environmentally beneficial disposal of used tyres. It also recently launched the Responsible Retailing campaign detailing the obligations of those disposing of used tyres throughout the recovery chain.

Peter Taylor OBE, Secretary General of the TRA, said: “While the measures announced by the Chancellor in the Autumn Budget will largely impact on tyre retailers, councils should be aware of their obligations when disposing of used tyres. Hitherto it has simply been too easy for some in the tyre recovery chain to side-step their legal Duty of Care and authorities not to carry out due diligence. The new measures will make the cost of doing so much greater as the concept of joint liability will be reinforced with penalties up to 100% of the tax due.

“For almost two decades now the TRA has operated the Responsible Recycler Scheme, which has cross-industry support and is considered a beacon of best practice. There is no excuse for anyone who takes the risk with disposing of their tyre waste via non-audited collectors and recyclers.”

To find out more about the Responsible Recycler Scheme or Responsible Retailing campaign, please visit

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