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Landowners call for tougher penalties to tackle fly-tipping

Fly-tipped rubbish at North Chesthill Estate near Aberfeldy.
Fly-tipped rubbish at North Chesthill Estate near Aberfeldy.

Scottish Government is facing calls to introduce tougher penalties to tackle fly-tipping and more support to help farmers clean up dumped waste.

Landowners’ body Scottish Land & Estates (SLE) and environmental charity Keep Scotland Beautiful made the plea as they responded to a consultation on the government’s litter and fly-tipping strategy, which closes this week.

They called for people who illegally dump rubbish in Scotland’s countryside, roadsides and railways to be punished with higher fines and longer prison sentences, and for the victims of fly-tipping to be offered help to cover the costs of cleaning up dumped mess.

At present farmers and landowners who fall victim to fly-tipping are often issued with a warning notice to remove any hazardous fly-tipped waste from their land within seven days at their own expense.

Other demands by the two organisations include the development of a central fly-tipping database to show the full extend of the problem across Scotland, and for a public campaign to run showing people how to legally dispose of their waste.

They also called for the government to speed up its proposed timeline for any new fly-tipping legislation so that measures could be put in place urgently.

Landowners are often forced to cover the cost of cleaning up after fly-tippers.

“The tidal wave of builders’ rubbish, household junk and toxic waste engulfing our beautiful countryside must be stopped,” said SLE policy adviser, Simon Ovenden.

“To help end this often large scale criminal activity, we believe greater public education regarding the true impact of fly-tipping is needed as well as tougher prison sentences, significantly higher fines, scrapping the offender’s vehicle and making the polluter pay for the clean-up, rather than the innocent victim who owns the property.

“Our livestock, wildlife and environment deserve better.”

Keep Scotland Beautiful chief executive, Barry Fisher, said fly-tipping caused wide-ranging issues for communities, landowners and the environment.

He sad: “Enforcement is a key part of the solution to the criminal activity leading to our fly-tipping problem, alongside provision and good access to waste disposal facilities, education initiatives and campaigns.

“We all need to do much more to tackle this waste disposal crisis.”

Fly-tipping victims

Rural businesses across Scotland have fallen victim to fly-tipping in the past year.

These include North Chesthill Estate near Aberfeldy, and Brahan Estate in the Highlands.

SLE said North Chesthill Estate was left to clear up a significant quantity of rubbish which was dumped on estate land, and despite investigating the source of the rubbish and reporting the incident to the authorities, it is understood no prosecution took place.

Likewise, Brahan Estate was forced to clean up a large amount of dumped waste including plaster, plastic, flooring and furniture at Dunglass Island.

Calls for tougher fines on illegal fly-tippers to be introduced

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