Anger after hundreds of tyres dumped in rural areas in Northern Ireland
Calls have been made for an investigation after hundreds of tyres were found dumped in rural areas of south Antrim.
Local people were shocked to find the discarded items strewn across roads and ditches in the last week, with some spread across a stretch of almost a mile on one road.
Areas affected include Ballymacward Road, Whitemountain Road, Tullyrusk Road, Thorndale Road and Rusheyhill Road in the Dundrod and Stoneyford areas.
Last year, Lisburn and Castlereagh Council launched a crackdown on offenders by adding additional detection measures to deter fly-tipping in dumping hotspots around the city. Alderman James Tinsley said that fly-tipping has increased but that the public have proved a valuable asset for "tackling crime head on".
He said: "These actions are costing the ratepayers of Lisburn and Castlereagh thousands of pounds, as our environmental staff have to collect and dispose of these tyres, which costs time and money.
"When individuals get new tyres, they would normally pay a fee to have their old ones dumped.
"Someone out there has taken advantage of this and is pocketing the money for their own ends.
"I call on the Northern Ireland Environment Agency (NIEA) to investigate this problem and to ensure a proper audit trail is in place for all tyre companies or garages that deal with tyres."
A spokeswoman for Lisburn and Castlereagh City Council said: "The council is aware of a number of 'hotspots' within its area that are used by those individuals who undertake fly-tipping of waste materials.
"The council has introduced a number of surveillance measures in these areas that are at risk to regular fly-tipping.
"It is hoped this intervention will act as a deterrent to those tempted, and provide evidence in the event of a legal prosecution being sought."
The spokesperson said anyone committing the offence faced a fixed penalty notice of £80 or could be prosecuted in a magistrates court, which would carry a fine of up to £2,500.