A HUNT is under way to track down a serial fly-tipper after large piles of soil, rubble and paving slabs were dumped at a variety of locations in the south-west of the Capital.
The mounds of debris – each weighing around five tonnes – have been discovered in at least seven spots, with all thought to have been left by the same culprits.
The public is now being urged to help identify the offenders – believed to be tradesmen – who drive a white van and are possibly trying to pass themselves off as council staff.
Lesley Macinnes, the city’s environment leader, said dumping trade waste on the Capital’s streets, roads or communal bins was “unacceptable” behaviour.
She said: “This is an example of the kind of inconsiderate and downright selfish behaviour by a minority of traders which not only puts extreme pressure on our own waste and cleansing service but also inconveniences the public.
“I would encourage any members of the public with information on this specific situation to come forward so we can identify the perpetrators.
“We are making every effort to tackle the issue of illegally dumped trade waste, with a dedicated waste compliance team working to inform businesses of their duties to dispose of waste responsibly and the ongoing Our Edinburgh campaign raising awareness among businesses to create a cleaner city for everyone.”
Locations where the waste has been dumped include opposite the Wester Hailes Education Centre, Murrayburn, Parkhead Drive, Broomhouse Place North, Sighthill Avenue, Westburn Park and Stenhouse Crescent.
The piles have now been coned off as cleansing staff work to clear the mess.
However, council officials said the job would take longer than normal due to the volume and type of waste needing specialist equipment not readily used to clear other fly-tipping hotspots.
Environmental officers are also working with the police to find out who is behind the dumping, including door-to-door inquiries in an effort to find witnesses.
Inspector Scott Richardson, from Wester Hailes police station, said: “Officers in south-west Edinburgh are currently supporting colleagues from the City of Edinburgh Council with their investigation into fly- tipping throughout many areas of the city.
“As part of these inquiries we are eager to trace a white-coloured MAN truck with registration number WX55 DXU and I would ask anyone who can assist us in identifying the driver to contact the council.
“Fly-tipping is not only a blight on our environment, it is also a criminal offence and anyone found to be responsible will be appropriately dealt with.”
Earlier this year the council approved a new charging system for special uplifts, changing the price for bulky items from £26 for up to six items to £5 per item to combat fly-tipping.
Latest figures suggest the change has resulted in fewer reports of fly-tipping and dumping, falling from 595 in June 2016 to 281 in June this year.