The number of incidents of tyres being fly-tipped by the roadside has risen by a quarter in the past year, according to analysis of government data. Garage chain Kwik Fit looked into the figures and found more than 15,000 incidents were reported in the 2020/21 financial year – up by 25 percent on the year before.

North-west England saw the highest rate of increase compared with the rest of the country, as the data from the Department for Food, the Environment and Rural Affairs (Defra) showed incidents were up by 80 percent in 2020/21 compared with 2019/20. However, the south-east of England was the fly-tipping hotspot, seeing more than 2,600 incidents reported last year – up from around 2,200 in 2019/20.

The East Midlands and south-west England followed closely behind, with both regions notching up just under 2,000 reported incidents, but the growth in incidents was bigger elsewhere. Behind the north-west of England, the West Midlands saw incidents rise by 67 percent, while London saw the incident rate increase by 47 percent.

Pile of old car tyres

Only the east of England saw reported tyre fly-tipping rates reduce, down five percent in 2020/21 with 1,453 incidents reported. Across the UK, however, an average of 41 tyre fly-tipping incidents were reported to the authorities every day.

That increase of eight incidents a day comes despite Department for Transport (DfT) figures showing a 21-percent drop in the number of miles driven during the coronavirus pandemic. As a result, the European Tyre and Rubber Manufacturers Association’s GB sales data showed a 14-percent drop in the number of replacement tyres fitted.

“There is absolutely no excuse for a tyre to be fly tipped,” said Roger Griggs, the communications director at Kwik Fit. “Tyre dealers must ensure that used tyres are dealt with by a registered waste company and those companies have a duty to process them responsibly. Although they need to be covered by a ‘waste’ licence, used tyres still have value as a raw material and therefore it makes even less sense for them to be fly tipped.

“End-of-life tyres have significant value remaining in them and it is important to capture and reuse the raw materials wherever possible. Not only does this prevent them from entering the waste steam, but it reduces the amount of new material that is needed. We encourage all motorists shopping for new tyres to ask what is going to happen to their old tyre and ensure that it is going to be handled responsibly.”