'Pure laziness' to blame for near double rise in East Lothian flytipping
Businesses feeling the pinch are most likely to blame for a near double increase in the number of flytipping incidents in East Lothian, a councillor has said.
The county investigated 240 incidents last year which was nearly double the total from the previous year.
Norman Hampshire, East Lothian council’s cabinet member for the environment put the rise down to the council encouraging people to come forward and report flytipping whenever they spot it occuring.
He also blamed the “pure laziness” of flytippers and said he believed the worst culprits are businesses who have to pay to use the council’s recycling sites.
Councillor Hampshire also made it clear the council will prosecute any offenders they identify.
Cllr Hampshire said: “It is purely laziness on behalf of the people who are flytipping. There are some commercial operators who have to pay to use them and rather than paying they choose to dump their material. They are not wanting to pay and are tipping it in the countryside.
“I have no idea when people are taking the decision to flytip because we do have recycling centres to take the material to when you have it. Some people seem reluctant to take that decision.
“If there are any identifying materials that we can use to trace back to them or the material’s owners we will prosecute them.”
The 240 incidents is a huge rise from the start of the decade when East Lothian council recorded six flytipping events, with 2011 recording only one.
Five years ago however, numbers jumped to 73 and have continued to rise since.
In 2016, East Lothian Council introduced a crackdown on people from outwith the county using its waste recycling centres after it began to see a huge increase in visitors as neighbouring local authorities reduced access times for trade vehicles.
However, Cllr Hampshire said he did not believe people from Edinburgh were to blame for the rise.
He said: “I would think if somebody would tip in Edinburgh they would find somewhere in Edinburgh to do so.
“It has now been recorded more accurately than ever before. We are recording every single incident we have and are asking communities to report it so we can get the material removed as quickly as possible.”