AN OPPORTUNISTIC workman has been warned he faces jail for dumping tyres.

Declan Clarke, 30, was involved in the "large-scale" fly-tipping of tyres across Glasgow.

Clarke dumped 51 tonnes of tyres next to fly-tipped household waste which were set ablaze in the city's Drumchapel, causing flight disruption at Glasgow Airport in July 2020.

He then discarded a further 500 tyres at Gartloch Farm near Glasgow Fort shopping centre months after police raided his home for the earlier offence.

Clarke, of Drumchapel, pleaded guilty on Thursday at Glasgow Sheriff Court to depositing controlled waste on or in land otherwise than in accordance with a waste management licence.

Prosecutor Joe Stewart said: "Clarke ran an illegitimate business collecting vanloads of tyres from car garages and tyre fitters for a fee.

"Instead of disposing the tyres lawfully, Clarke simply dumped them on streets, car parks and empty land."

Two white vans were captured on CCTV attending Dalsetter Crescent, Drumchapel, 33 times, dumping 51 tonnes of tyres.

Another van was clocked with men exiting and dumping tyres on a grass verge near Drummore Road.

They were seen to dump more tyres in Glenkirk Drive 20 minutes later.

Prosecutor Joe Stewart said: "On July 18, 2020, an employee at the Donald Dewar Centre noticed that approximately 200 tyres had been dumped at the bottom of the car park.

"CCTV of the centre showed the two vans attending on 9 and 13 July."

An employee of the van hire company noticed that the brakes and handbrakes of the vehicle appeared not to work.

The employee pulled over to find 156 tyres in the cargo area.

Mr Stewart said: "On the evening of July 24, the waste at Dalsetter Crescent was set on fire.

"The fire consumed much of the waste that was present.

"A huge amount of smoke was produced which disrupted flights at Glasgow Airport."

The Glasgow City Council cleansing department later removed 51 tonnes of tyres and 17 tonnes of household waste.

READ MORE: Drumchapel tyre dump costs taxpayers £10K to clear

Police searched Clarke's home on July 30 after a warrant was issued and a key to one of the vans was recovered.

Clarke was not arrested at the time.

He then went on to be observed on CCTV at Gartloch Farm depositing tyres on 12 occasions in October 2020.

Mr Stewart added: "On October 22, the owner of the farm was driving past when he saw a Transit van [in one of his fields] stuck in mud.

"He saw Clarke and a boy trying to free the van from the mud and he called the police."

Police later found the abandoned van which was insecure and contained 60 tyres.

Clarke and the boy were caught a short time later.

A total of 500 tyres had been deposited at the farm.

A second warrant was issued at Clarke's home and he was caught hiding under a bed by officers.

Another van was found to be "full of tyres”.

Clarke's phone contained conversations about tyre collection and that he was being paid £1-£2 per tyre.

In one message he said: "It's a getting a bit hot to get rid of them."

It was revealed that it cost Glasgow City Council £7,245 to remove the waste from Dalsetter Crescent.

A private firm have quoted Gartloch Farm £120,000 to remove the tyres.

Mr Stewart said: "Seven of the eight separate piles of tyres were set on fire causing the soil beneath to become contaminated."

Brian Lannigan, defending, told the court that the fire at Dalsetter Crescent was not caused by dad-of-four Clarke.

Sentence was deferred until June pending background reports by sheriff John McCormick.

He said: "This was an opportunistic crime for profit which has a cost to the taxpayer.

"Standing the quantity of the material and the sites involved, you should prepare yourself for a custodial sentence - I will keep all options open."