A MAN will have to carry out unpaid work and his company fined more than £27,000 after the removal of 63,000 illegally stored tyres cost council tax-payers £60,000.

Stephen Gillies had pled guilty to illegally depositing, baling and storing waste tyres in Irvine, before returning for sentencing last week.

Gillies, 43, was sentenced a Community Payback Order with 300 hours of unpaid work while his firm, Autowaste Services Scotland Ltd, was fined £9,000 plus a further £27,000 to be paid under civil diligence, when he returned before Kilmarnock Sheriff Court on Wednesday, April 18.

The offences happened at Unit 32, Kyle Road, Irvine where Gillies deposited and kept a large quantity of tyres and tyre bales.

The company advertised at a price that undercut rivals, offering to pay 70p per tyre while competitors advertised a rate of £1.20.

Gillies, residing in Burnton Road, Dalrymple, was informed by the Scottish Environmental Protection Agency (SEPA) in mid-2014 that he required a waste management licence for collecting, storing and baling waste tyres at the industrial unit prior to export.

An exemption was registered for the site in September 2014 which allowed up to 1,000 waste tyres to be stored under certain conditions.

A SEPA inspection on October 21 2014 found between 2-3,000 waste tyres on site and Gillies was repeatedly told to reduce the number to below the legal limit. After he failed to do this the exemption was removed.

SEPA visited the site 18 times over the course of a year, spoke directly with Gillies and wrote to him, but he was uncooperative.

The number of tyres at the site ranged from 15,000 to 63,000 at various points over the period.

Gillies made three applications for a licence during this time.

All were returned due to a lack of information and the licence was eventually rejected for failure to provide adequate information.

A total of 63,000 tyres were left on site – removed by the local authority at a cost of nearly £60,000 to the public.

The financial history of the company was assessed by financial investigators and accountants in the Serious and Organised Crime Division of the Crown Office which led to a Confiscation Order for £44,711 being made against Gillies on February 23 in terms of the Proceeds of Crime (Scotland) Act 1995.

The order represents the full benefit that the company made from failing to comply with the legislation and fees they avoided by failing to obtain a full waste management licence.

Assistant Procurator Fiscal Laura Buchan said: “Stephen Gillies and Autowaste, which he managed on behalf of his wife who was the sole director, operated without a waste management licence and repeatedly failed to adhere to the requests of SEPA to meet the legal standards required of them and to remove waste tyres when requested to do so.

“This investigation and prosecution was a result of partnership working between SEPA, Police Scotland and specialist prosecutors from both the Wildlife and Environmental Crime Unit and the Serious and Organised Crime Division.

“Both the order and the sentence imposed send a clear message to those who do not comply with our environmental laws.”

A North Ayrshire Council spokesperson said: “Our Trading Standards team are working closely with SEPA regarding the storage of tyres to ensure end of life tyres and waste management procedures and storage are being complied with.

“We will continue to work closely with our partners at SEPA and hope the punishment handed out to Autowaste Services Scotland Ltd acts as a timely reminder that there are strict rules and regulations when it comes storing tyres."