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Fly tipper jailed

A 30-year-old man has been jailed for large-scale fly tipping of car tyres on streets, car parks and empty land around Glasgow.

Declan Clarke, from Drumchapel, was sentenced to 11 months imprisonment at Glasgow Sheriff Court today (8 June).

Clarke had previously pled guilty to an environmental breach.

The court heard that between June and August 2020 a large number of tyres were fly tipped in the Drumchapel area. 

The vast majority of the tyres were dumped at Dalsetter Crescent, an area of waste ground between ALDI and Dalsetter Business Centre vulnerable to fly-tipping. Other deposition sites in the area were Drummore Road, Glenkirk Drive and the Donald Dewar Centre.

In addition to the sites around Drumchapel, approximately 500 tyres were dumped at Gartloch Farm, near Gartcosh, between 8 and 22 October 2020. More tyres were deposited at that location on 13 November 2020. 

Gartloch Farm has frequently been used as a dumping ground by fly tippers and as a result wildlife camera have been installed on the land. These camera captured Clarke, using a number of different hire vans, dumping tyres on the land.

On Friday 20 November 2020 police executed a search warrant for Clarke’s home.  He was found hiding under a bed.

During the search a key for another hire van was found.  That van was parked outside his flat and was found to be full of tyres.

A mobile phone was also seized which was found to contain messages between Clarke and proprietors of vehicle garages and tyre fitters in which the collection of tyres was discussed. 

From the messages it appears that the Clarke was charging between £1-£2 per tyre.  In one message dated 18 November 2020 he stated, "it's getting a bit hot to get rid of them."

The court was advised that on the evening of Friday 24 July 2020 much of the waste at Dalsetter Crescent was consumed by fire. A huge amount of smoke was produced which disrupted flights at Glasgow Airport.

Two days later the remnants were cleared by Glasgow City Council.  After the fire the debris consisted of 51 tonnes of tyres and 17 tonnes of household waste. 

Glasgow City Council cleansing staff believed the volume of waste was significantly reduced by the fire.

The cost of cleaning up Dalsetter Crescent was £7,245.16. The estimated cost of cleaning up Gartloch Farm is £120,000 and a further £2,800 to dispose of the remaining tyres.

Fiona Caldwell, Procurator Fiscal, Wildlife and Environment, said:

“Fly tipping causes the public real and legitimate concern. It is criminal behaviour which creates an eyesore and is costly to clear up and one that the local council must often carry.

“Declan Clarke’s deliberate and criminal action showed a lack of consideration for the environment and undermines legitimate waste management companies.

“There is no excuse for illegal dumping of waste and those who choose to engage in it will be brought to account for their actions.”