Environment Agency Wales has launched a major campaign to reduce the risk of pollution from illegal waste tyre sites.
It is currently managing the removal of 21,000 waste tyres from four illegal sites across Wales.
Sites like these not only damage the environment but also the economy.
They can be a serious fire threat to communities and the environment with smoke polluting the air, pollutants entering rivers and possible road and rail closures as well as damaging property.
And it can be an ongoing problem as tyre fires can take days or even weeks to put out.
The criminals also undercut legitimate businesses which pay the going rate to dispose of tyres legally.
And landlords who fall victim to these crimes are left with bills running into many thousands of pounds for clearing the sites.
Environment Agency Wales has moved in to clear some sites itself as they were considered to be a serious fire risk. In these cases the Agency will look to recover the costs from those responsible.
Tens of millions of waste tyres are produced in the UK every year and organised criminals are being attracted by the profits they can make.
Illegal activities include illegal storage, fly tipping and exporting waste tyres to countries that do not have the ability to deal with tyres to the same standards as the UK.
Environment Agency Wales will take enforcement action to prosecute the criminals who profit from this illegal activity.
People who produce used tyres should always ask for a waste carrier’s licence before passing on waste. If the operator cannot produce a waste carrier’s licence, it is illegal for them to move the tyres.