Mindless dumpers have launched ‘attacks’ on staff at the biggest fly-tipping hotspot in Fife, it has been claimed.
The demolition firm looking after the Westfield site near Ballingry says fly-tippers have resorted to violence.
Dem-Master Demolition is on site having razed the former gas-fired power station at Westfield.
Firm claims ‘nothing’ gets done
Drone footage shows the extent of the fly-tipping chaos at the site.
Tonnes of debris, from furniture and tyres to industrial and commercial waste, litter the site.
A spokesperson for the company said scrap metal thieves had also targeted the area.
“There have also been instances when our operatives have attended the site to carry out maintenance and have been attacked by the people carrying out the fly-tipping.
“Not to mention the theft that has went on for precious metal.”
Dem-Master says it has had “several meetings” with police, Fife Council and the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (Sepa).
“We have supplied them with photographs of vehicles, registration plates as well as putting in numerous types of security measures,” said Dem-Master.
“But they just get breached and it continues all the time.”
However, when contacted, Police Scotland were not able to confirm if there had been any police involvement at Westfield.
‘Fear’ that dumping ground will put off investors
Dem-Master blasted some of the final remnants of Fife Power Station a few years ago.
Decommissioned in 2011, the station had been operating for two decades.
There are now hopes the site could attract investment.
It is next to a former opencast mine, which is the subject of ambitious redevelopment plans.
And there is a biomass plant at another adjacent site.
But there are concerns fly-tippers are deterring “potential suitors”.
The Dem-Master spokesperson added: “There is interest in developing the site for renewable energy, etc.
“But the issues mentioned may put off potential suitors. That is our fear.”
Criminal investigation continues
Last year, Sepa launched a criminal investigation into illegal dumping at Westfield.
The agency now says it is considering “enforcement options” at the Fife fly-tipping hot-spot.
However, Sepa would not reveal further details.
“We are currently investigating and considering enforcement options in line with our enforcement policy,” said a Sepa spokesperson.
Sepa is urging anyone who witnesses fly-tipping to report it to the Dumb Dumpers site.
A source from a neighbouring business said they had invested in CCTV and automated gates to deter fly-tippers.
“From our point of view, it’s not great.
“It’s very frustrating and it’s getting worse. But there’s ultimately nothing we can do about it because it’s not our land.”
The source also raised concerns about potential pollution in the Lochty Burn, which runs through the former gas plant site.
“All sorts are going into it that have nothing to do with our site,” he added.
Is recycling centre booking system to blame?
The booking system in place at Fife recycling centres has been blamed for a rise in fly-tipping.
But Councillor Ross Vettraino rejected this theory.
Mr Vettraino is convenor of Fife Council’s Environment and Protective Services Committee.
Quoting council figures, he said complaints about illegal dumping fell from 4,346 to 4,079 last financial year.
The council introduced the booking system when it reopened recycling centres after lockdown in June last year.
“Illegal dumping was taking place long before there was a booking system at the recycling centres,” said Mr Vettraino.
“It is equally true that illegal dumping is on the increase across the length and breadth of the United Kingdom.
“There is no evidence to support the view that the booking system is responsible for the increase, just as there is no evidence to support the view that it is not.”