By Oliver Hall
A Welsh farmer who was the victim of a tyres dumping scam has been landed with a £20,000 removal bill.
Around 20,000 tyres were dumped on Marie Burt’s property after she was approached by con artists pretending to be in the recycling industry.
The gang charged garages a low price to take them off their hands, then stashed the tyres in the converted chicken barn at the farm in Towyn.
Police and Environment Agency (EA) officers say bogus businesses are taking advantage of a new EU directive stating tyres must be recycled not disposed of in landfill.
Gwlithyn and Mike Owen from Llandyrnog also fell victim to the same trick, and were left with 3,000 tyres and £3,000 out of pocket.
Luckily word had spread to them about the scam that had fleeced Marie Burt, who was stuck with 20,000 tyres on her land for a staggering two years, and they reported it to the Environment Agency last year.
But now the victims have lashed out, claiming they have been punished for other people’s crimes after reporting their suspicions to the EA.
Ms Burt said: “It’s been a constant worry. Every morning you wake up and it’s on your mind. How can you get rid of the tyres? You can’t just dump it or sell it on or burn it. The only way is the legal way and get a company in.”
Gwlithyn Owen said: “The Environment Agency didn’t help us, even though we helped them. It cost us £3,000 to get rid of all those tyres. It makes you feel as if you wouldn’t help them ever again. You’d rather deal with the problem yourself and just not bother letting them know.”
But the Environment Agency defended their standpoint claiming the taxpayer should not have to foot the bill.