The Tyre Recovery Association is urging tyre retailers to be vigilant when disposing of waste tyres after rogue tyre collectors hit the Essex area.
First reported in South and South-East London, according to the TRA, illegal traders have been masquerading as established tyre reprocessors by using forged collection notes.
The TRA learned that Surrey-based member, Willow Tyres was targeted earlier this year. More recently, fake collectors have been falsely using Essex firm, Grove Road Tyress name.
TRA secretary general Peter Taylor said: Real collectors charge tyre firms money to take away and responsibly recycle the tyres, but these fake collectors are taking the money and then dumping the tyres on other peoples property. This is costing many people and firms lots of money because they are then obligated to pay for the disposal of these tyres, which are not their property. It is not a victimless crime.
Mr Taylor is also concerned this could affect the reputation of the UK tyre industry, which has an almost 100 per cent recycling rate.
Anyone handling used tyres or supplying them into the recovery chain is reminded that they have a legal duty of care to ensure the tyres are disposed of responsibly and legally. Tyre collectors operating processing facilities must hold a valid current waste management licence or provide evidence of formal exemption.
The Environment Agency has been made aware of this tyre fraud.