The practice of burying waste tyres in Wiltshire's landfill sites will be phased out over the next three years.

The first step in the process began last week, when burial of whole waste tyres was banned from hazardous landfill sites.

Ian Smith, the South West regional scrap specialist for the Government's Environment Agency, said: "The agency welcomes the ban because scrap tyres represent a valuable resource that is currently going to waste.

"This move should encourage investment in developing new processing and recovery capacity.

"But although we already have significant recovery capacity in the UK and are working hard to reduce criminal behaviour, there is a risk that tyre fly tipping will increase as the ban begins to take effect."

The Environment Agency is working with industry, government and local authorities to promote tyre re-use and recovery through its Tyre Watch programme.

Shredded used tyres will continue to be accepted at landfill sites until July 16, 2006.