'Growing concerns' for flytipping in rural areas of Edinburgh, says local business owner

A local business owner in rural Edinburgh has called for more enforcement from Edinburgh City Council on flytippers after paying thousands of pounds to get rubbish removed from his property.

Friday, 19th March 2021, 1:46 pm
The waste dumped on West Craigie Farm Road on the night of Friday March 12 (Photo: John Sinclair).

Flytipping is a ‘growing concern’ in rural areas of Edinburgh, according to business owner John Sinclair, who added: “You don’t need to go far to see truckloads of builder’s rubbish dumped everywhere.”

Mr Sinclair, who owns Craigie Farm shop and cafe in Queensferry, has had to pay over £3,000 to remove rubbish dumped on his private property as well as deal with rubbish being dumped on public roads near his business.

The most recent flytipping incident took place last Friday, March 12, when a mass of kitchen waste was dumped by trade customers from Howdens Joinery on a lay-by on West Craigie Farm road.

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Howdens kitchen design blueprint found in the rubbish dumped on Craigie Farm road (Photo: John Sinclair).

A Howdens spokeperson said they “unreservedly condemn such behaviour.”

Howdens added that although they cannot speculate on the identity of the individuals involved, they said they would be “happy to assist the local authorities with their enquiries.”

It took six days for the rubbish to be picked up by the council which Mr Sinclair said was ‘too long.’

Now, Mr Sinclair is calling for the council to introduce more enforcement to dissuade these criminals from dumping.

He said current action, which depends on two witnesses being present to see the flytipping, is “too rare”, especially within a rural community.

Mr Sinclair said: “I just want to see enforcement.

"Even although strong evidence has been passed to the Police and the Council, including a name from Howdens Joinery, neither plan to take any action as there wasn't two witnesses who say the act in progress.

"Why would you pay to dispose of commercial rubbish in a responsible way if you can do it for nothing?”

"They might get a £200 fine at worst which will save them thousands of pounds in comparison to dealing with the rubbish responsibly whereas when it’s dumped on my property I have to pick up the bill."

A Police Scotland spokesperson said: “We were made aware of a report of fly tipping at West Craigie Farm Road which happened on Friday.

"Suitable advice was given and, as is normal in these situations, officers passed it on to the enforcement team at the City of Edinburgh council.”

Mr Sinclair has said the continuous flytipping is even driving him to consider flytipping himself as he feels perpetrators are not being held to account.

He said: "I could take the sensible option and take the rubbish on my ground and dump it onto the council ground which wouldn’t cost me anything unless two people witnessed it or I’ve to pay to get it disposed of like any other responsible business has to do.”

Cllr Lesley Macinnes, environment convener said: “It’s really disappointing to see more fly tipping spoiling our beautiful city and I sympathise with those living in areas where the selfish actions of a few can really affect those living there.

"We have a simple booking system for residents to access our Household Waste Recycling centres and a special uplift service that costs only £5 per item to legally dispose of unwanted bulky household waste.”

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