Swansea tyre fire: Bosses stored waste without permit

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Media captionWatch footage of the fire at Fforestfach, Swansea, in 2011

Two company directors have admitted storing more than 5,500 tonnes of waste tyres without a permit at a factory where a fire burned for three weeks.

The blaze at the former Mettoys site in Fforestfach, Swansea, happened in 2011.

Globally Greener Solutions directors Scott Phillips, Dorothy Thomas and Peter Thomas were due to stand trial at Swansea Crown Court on Monday.

But Phillips and Peter Thomas changed pleas while formal not guilty verdicts were recorded against Dorothy Thomas.

The court heard that the likely cause of the fire was accidental although arson could not be excluded.

Image caption Peter Thomas and Scott Phillips admitted storing waste tyres without a permit

The blaze cost £1.6m to tackle and remove the waste, while it will cost a further £1m to dispose of the rest of the tyres which are currently being stored at Tata Steel in Port Talbot.

Phillips, 44, from Neath, and Peter Thomas, 67, from Swansea, pleaded guilty to charges of knowing or causing controlled waste to be deposited without an environmental permit.

Sentencing will take place on 29 July.

Mary Youell from Natural Resources Wales described the guilty pleas as a good result.

"It shows that we at Natural Resources Wales as the regulator, will take action, investigate reports and we'll secure convictions against this illegal activity," she said.

"It poses a risk to the environment, people's health and it also undermines legitimate businesses who do comply with the regulations...

"The waste material as a result of the fire has been kept deposited very securely. It's properly regulated so it's very safe now but there was a cost to that."

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