By Oliver Hall
The issue of tyres being dumped in illegally across Scotland has raised its head again.
Hundreds of tyres have been found abandoned in a lay-by in the Scottish Borders for the fourth time this year.
Scottish Borders Council said clean-up operations at the site at Soutra on the A68 had cost it about £1,300.
A total of 323 tyres – nearly 50 of them from lorries – were left piled up in the lay-by in the latest incident.
Supt Douglas Forsyth of Lothian and Borders Police said they would do all they could to assist the council in catching the culprits.
Councillor Len Wyse said: “These incidents seem to be happening more frequently. They are costing the Scottish tax payer £11m-a-year and wasting council resources.”
Last month we reported that police and environmental agencies are set to crack down on gangs who are running used tyres trade scams and polluting the countryside.
Police suspect the con-artists are under-cutting legitimate waste firms by charging garages less than the typical £1-per-tyre removal fee, loading them up in vans and ditching them in deserted rural sites.
Current rates for tyre disposal with private contractors – who hold licenses from the Scottish Environmental Protection (SEPA) to take to material to recycling plants – are around £1 for a car tyre and £2.50 for a tyre on a rim, rising up to £8 for a lorry tyre.
But the unscrupulous amateurs are attempting to persuade garage-owners and other small businesses to let them take care of removal at cut-price rates.