New Zealand tire recycler fined over illegal end-of-life tire disposal
A press release by Greater Wellington Regional Council from November 4, 2021 says Kevin Anderson and his company Combined Projects (2016) Limited have been convicted and fined for the illegal disposal of waste tires at a Castlepoint property in Wairarapa.
Greater Wellington Regional Council laid four charges against Mr Anderson and his company in 2019 for offending that occurred early that year. This included breaching an abatement notice issued by the council to stop further illegal disposal of tires.
The press release says the case went all the way to trial but half way through proceedings Mr Anderson changed his pleas to guilty and so appeared again at Wellington District Court yesterday for sentencing. In addition to seeking a fine from the defendants, the council asked the court to impose an Enforcement Order requiring the removal of the illegal tires.
On Wednesday 3 November Judge Dwyer issued a fine of $50,000 to the company and convicted and discharged Mr Anderson due to his financial position. Costs were imposed on both parties. The Judge declined to make an order requiring the removal of the, 4000 or more, tires to an authorized disposal site; he suggested the Regional Council could seek such an order from the Environment Court.
In passing sentence the Judge commented that the council had clearly established the case on all charges and the conviction and fine were an inevitable outcome of the proceedings. In deciding on the level of fine, of particular note was the risk to the environment from a tire fire and the defendant’s poor management of the site for a number of years.
The Judge also commented that if the direct effects had been more significant at the time and Mr Anderson had the ability to pay the sentence, the individual fine for him could have been up to $70,000.
In deciding on the level of fine the Judge listened to submissions from the defense and Greater Wellington on the seriousness of the offending and applicable aggravating and mitigating factors.
“We had repeated contact with the defendants in this case advising them to take action”, said Greater Wellington Environmental Protection Team Leader, James Snowdon, “There are legitimate ways to dispose of tyres, instead Mr Anderson and his company chose to receive these tires and dispose of them illegally, creating a legacy problem for whoever eventually bought or inherited the land.
“They have been carrying out this activity outside of the law for a number of years, placing their own interests over those of the community and environment. In addition to the eventual contamination of the land these tires may cause, they also pose a serious fire risk”.
Original press release by Greater Wellington Regional Council.