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Festive fly tippers spark anger after mounds of rubbish spotted in Fife

Fly tipping over Christmas resulted in mountains of rubbish being spotted at this site in Cowdenbeath
Fly tipping over Christmas resulted in mountains of rubbish being spotted at this site in Cowdenbeath

A Fife councillor has called out festive fly tippers and called the actions of the culprits “disappointing”.

Darren Watt represents Cowdenbeath on Fife Council and pointed out the mess at the recycling point on the town’s Bridge Street, near its Morrisons store.

He posted a picture online showing overflowing recycling containers with piles of rubbish on the ground in front of them.

Its secluded location, he says, may have helped make the situation worse.

Mr Watt said: “It’s clear some people were very keen to get rid of their excess waste from over the festive period and resorted to illegal dumping.

‘Waste is contaminated and will all end up in landfill’

“I have been very critical of Fife Council‘s approach to recycling over the last few years, especially at this time of year, however, there is simply no need and no excuse for such blatant fly-tipping.

Councillor Darren Watt
Councillor Darren Watt

“Those responsible may think they are doing their bit by taking their rubbish to a recycling point, but the waste has been mixed and will now be contaminated, meaning it will all end up in landfill.

“I have reported this and hope it will be cleared up at the earliest opportunity so that those who do want to recycle responsibly won’t be prevented from doing so.”

Waste or recycling left outside bins at recycling points could result in a £200 fine. Fines for those caught fly-tipping start at £200 but could rise to as much as £40,000

The site at Cowdenbeath is one Mr Watt has been keeping an eye on for several years, and he thinks over the festive period other busy recycling points will experience a similar problem.

He pointed out the Asda store at Halbeath and Tesco at Duloch, both in Dunfermline, as being other sites that experience similar issues.

He said: “Fife Council never seem to manage to get a grip of the issue at all. I imagine there will be similar issues in other supermarkets [at their recycling points].

Fife recycling centres
Fife recycling centres are currently not open at their usual times with residents asked to check before they visit

“Councillors were told before the Christmas break that the council would be making more of an effort around now, increasing monitoring and emptying but this has clearly not been happening as we expected.

“I don’t condone or encourage such fly tipping but clearly people want to get rid of their excess waste.

“It is disappointing to see things like this and people not disposing of their waste properly.”

Mr Watt said that dealing with the issue will result in workers being taken away from other, possibly more in need, areas.

Recycling centres in Fife are currently not open as normal, while appointments are no longer needed, many are only open a handful of days a week. For example, in Cowdenbeath the recycling centre is only open three days a week.

Due to Christmas and New Year, they have also been closed.

Rubbish dumped by recycling containers on Wellesley Road, Methil after Christmas in 2020.
Rubbish dumped by recycling containers on Wellesley Road, Methil after Christmas in 2020.

Mr Watt said that this has created “less of an opportunity to dispose of waste responsibly” during the festive season.

Council will adopt ‘zero tolerance’ approach to fly-tipping

Sandy Anderson, Fife Council’s service manager for waste operations, said: “It is disappointing that some members of the public have misused our recycling points.

“Unfortunately, an issue, particularly at this time of year, is the misuse of recycling centres and points. It is illegal to dump rubbish at gates of recycling centres over public holiday festive closures.

“In addition to taking action to ensure that the sites are kept clear, the council will adopt a ‘zero tolerance’ approach to any such illegal activity and will take steps to identify those doing so.

“Fife recycling centres are open on their usual days this week, and recycling points are being serviced today (Monday) – the especially busy ones were serviced as a priority this morning.”

She stressed it is “everyone’s responsibility” to ensure their waste is disposed of correctly.

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