SNP “legalising littering” as 135,000 flytipping incidents reported but only 34 make it to prosecutors 

Litter is a huge problem in West Dunbartonshire and Loch Lomondside.

By Lucy Adams

Scottish Liberal Democrat communities spokesperson Willie Rennie has warned that the Scottish Government has effectively “legalised littering” .

He called for people who illegally dispose of their waste to “face the full force of the law” as it emerged that 134,974 reports of flytipping were flagged to local authorities in the past two years, but only 34 were referred to the Procurator Fiscal.

Freedom of information requests submitted by Scottish Liberal Democrats also revealed that:

  • Glasgow City Council reported the highest number of incidents with 48,539, followed by Edinburgh with 25,717.
  • Across Scotland, just 1,879 fixed penalty notices have been issued since September 2019. 
  • Only eight local authorities had passed cases to the Procurator Fiscal. 

Willie Rennie, pictured right,  said:“Not only does fly-tipping spoil the appearance of our beautiful country, it can be devastating for crops and animals.

“From remote beauty spots to busy cities, these figures show that this is a widespread issue, yet only a tiny fraction of cases ever result in a fine or a trip to court.

“With refuse collections disrupted and tips closed for long stretches, it’s no surprise that this has been a particular issue since the pandemic hit. The Scottish Government has effectively legalised littering on an industrial scale.

“We need to see local authorities using the powers at their disposal to clamp down on this disgusting behaviour and ensure that repeat offenders especially feel the full force of the law.

“Scottish Liberal Democrats also want to see increased support for farmers and those who bear the brunt of fly-tipping to help them with the clear up costs. This should use the proceeds of a new restitution order which hits offenders’ pockets hard.”

Meanwhile, there are reports of local people being turned away from refuse disposal depots such as at Dalmoak in Renton Road, pictured left, because because they do not have official permission to dump there.

Some residents, wishing to dispose items as as a demolished fitted kitchen or other upgrading works in their homes are told they have to have this before they can dump anything.

How does one get permission? They are told they have to e mail the Council and that there is no way they can book a time to dump on the telephone.

One Alexandria man told me: “It’s nae wonder the instances of fly dumping have gone up and the recycling figures have gone down so drastically. The Council only have themselves to blame. The manner in which they treat the public is unacceptable. They need to look at this whole thing again.”

A spreadsheet of results can be found here.

One comment

  1. Fly tipping and reduced recycling rates are all part of the SNP incompetence.

    Take for example West Dunbartonshire Council wher3crecycling has dropped from 44% to 36%. That’s a huge decline in recycling with thousands of tonnes of waste having to go to landfill.

    And the cost of landfill you don’t even want to ask. At around £140 per tonne our so called cash strapped council shells out millions of pounds paying for expensive and environmentally unfriendly landfilling.

    But why is WDC’s recycling going down and landfilling going up. Could it be because recycling staff are actually instructed by bosses to turn away people turning up in a van or car with a small trailer. The logic of this is insane and if folks are not being permitted to take waste to the recycler can anyone work out why the decline in recycling mirrors the council policy about vans and small trailers.

    But hey, it’s big bucks for the landfill sites and blow the environment and the council budget. It’s an utter outrage and maybe someone would like to ask Council Leader McColl to explain. And he has the temerity to claim he’s not getting enough money.

    A grim joke were it not so outrageous.

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