By Oliver Hall
A £1,000 fine was handed down to a man who allowed old tyres to be dumped under a disused industrial unit.
The tyres were believed to have come from Germany to be sold in this country as part worn, but the tread was too low to be legally used.
Mohammed Yaqoob, 52, pleaded guilty at North Staffordshire Magistrates Court to knowingly depositing controlled waste in a void under a building in Fenton.
Mark Lewis, prosecuting, said the tyres had been cut into strips over a period of two weeks by another man, before they were dumped.
He said: “This was deliberate and calculated activity.
“There was certainly a risk of fire and if the void had been concreted over the potential danger would have been there for years.
“Until recently this was a very prevalent problem in this area but because of the partnership of the Environment Agency and Stoke-on-Trent City Council, the problem has almost been eradicated.
“It is important to send out a clear message. This offence can result in a penalty of up to a £20,000 fine or six months in prison.”
The court heard how the tyres were later properly disposed of at a cost of £875. They were taken away by a private firm, licensed to collect tyres to be made into rubber chips or used as an alternative fuel source.