A month-long blitz on almost 260 tyre retailers across Sydney, the Hunter and the Illawarra by the Environment Protection Authority (EPA) at the end of last year assessed compliance in lawfully disposing of unwanted tyres.
NSW Environment Minister Robyn Parker said 50 per cent of the businesses were unaware of their legal responsibilities.
Inspectors also discovered that a waste tyre transporter in Sydney had been telling retailers that their discarded tyres were being taken to two sites which are no longer in operation.
“Anyone involved in handling of waste tyres can be found guilty of an offence when waste tyres are transported to a place that cannot lawfully be used as a waste facility,” she said in a statement on Friday.
Businesses that process and store waste tyres without the necessary operating approvals from local council or the EPA also risk hefty fines and prosecution, she said.
Consultation will shortly open on the government’s proposal to cut the amount of passenger tyres allowed to be stored for recycling from 5000 to 500, in a bid to prevent illegal storage and disposal.