Edinburgh's fly-tipping problem: It's time to get tough on anti-social elements behind it – Steve Cardownie

The issue of fly tipping is once more hitting the headlines and, unfortunately, shows no sign of abating.

Wednesday, 14th April 2021, 7:00 am
A fly-tipped sofa and other waste on Edinburgh's Marine Esplanade (Picture: Lisa Ferguson)

Some time ago I highlighted the problem when I was confronted by an unsightly mess at Gypsy Brae where household equipment had just been dumped in the small wooded area there. Old carpets, linoleum, sinks and rotten kitchen units were strewn across the area, wantonly discarded to now become someone else’s problem.

This area is hugely popular with families, cyclists , runners and dog walkers as they make their way between Gypsy Brae and Cramond, even more so during the pandemic as people seek safe ways to exercise.

With panoramic views across the Forth to Fife, fresh sea air and a level, smooth walkway, it provides a welcome escape from city life.

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Unfortunately it also provides the kind of environment that fly tippers thrive on – a wooded area, with no housing nearby and largely deserted at night, they brazenly go about their nefarious activity safe in the knowledge that they are unlikely to be disturbed.

However this activity is by no means exclusively reserved for peripheral areas and Leith, Gorgie and the New Town amongst others have been blighted by illegally dumped mattresses, sofas and the like, discarded by people with no regard whatsoever for their fellow residents.

Although it is difficult to catch the perpetrators in the act, councils are trying to address the problem and have devoted additional resources in an effort to bring these anti-social elements to book. It might be an impossible task to eradicate it completely but even a little improvement would be welcomed.

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