Scottish Land & Estates call for fly-tipping crackdown under new Scottish government as dumped waste blights rural communities and costs businesses

Scottish Land & Estates (SLE) has called on the new Scottish government to urgently tackle fly-tipping which is blighting rural communities and costing businesses.

Friday, 16th April 2021, 10:35 am

Fly-tipping has been an issue for some time, but from the beginning of the pandemic it has increased as local authority waste and recycling centres were closed or queued. Even after re-opening, problems have remained.

Earlier this month, two vans drove to Glencorse Water Treatment Works near Penicuik and, in broad daylight, tipped a large amount of material including plaster board, insulation and timber on the access road. It will cost Scottish Water and its customers thousands of pounds to clear up.

In March, pictures showed industrial waste dumped along Cammo Walk in Edinburgh while a massive pile of rubbish was left on Birsley Brae, near Tranent.

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Fly-tipping in West Lothian. Pic: SLE

Another business owner, John Sinclair, who owns Craigie Farm shop and cafe in Queensferry, also had to pay more than £3,000 last month to remove rubbish dumped on his private property. He also had to deal with waste dumped on public roads near his business. Mr Sinclair told the Edinburgh Evening News he wants tougher enforcement because current action, which depends on two witnesses being present to see flytipping, is “too rare,” especially in a rural community.

These are just some of the fly-tipping incidents which have been reported in Edinburgh and the Lothians during lockdown.

Landowners and farmers remain plagued by fly-tippers. Throughout the pandemic, picturesque sights across Scotland have been routinely disturbed by the dumping of garden and other waste.

SLE has launched its manifesto ‘People, Jobs and Nature,’ which calls on the new government to adopt a new strategy to tackle fly-tipping.

SLE’s chief executive, Sarah-Jane Laing, said: “Ending the scourge of fly-tipping and healing our rural communities is at the heart of SLE’s priorities for the next parliament. In our manifesto ‘People, Jobs and Nature’ we call on all parties to commit to prevent, detect and prosecute fly-tipping offences. With tough sentences for repeat offenders.

“Fly-tipping has serious social, environmental and health implications. It poses a threat to people and wildlife, damages our environment and spoils people’s enjoyment of the outdoors.

“It is more than an eyesore. It is dangerous, and it is a crime. Too many landowners and farmers find themselves in a vicious cycle of costly clean-ups. Forced, as victims, to not only have to remove potentially hazardous materials, but also to bear the financial burden of waste crime. Rural businesses can find themselves liable for bills of thousands of pounds to clean up land that has been fly-tipped, with many offered no support from their local authority.

“We are pleased that after representation from SLE and others, the Scottish government agreed to give equal weight to fly-tipping in its forthcoming litter strategy. We will work with the next government and all parties to protect our rural communities from fly-tipping with tough measures and comprehensive cover, to ensure victims of fly-tipping are no longer out of pocket to clear it up.”

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