Lib Dems reveal 200,000 flytipping reports but only 45 passed to prosecutors

By Lucy Ashton

Scottish Liberal Democrat communities spokesperson Willie Rennie has called for increased fines for those who dispose of their waste illegally after research by his party revealed that despite more than 200,000 reports of fly-tipping were reported to local councils in the past three years, just 45 were referred to the Procurator Fiscal.

Freedom of information requests submitted by Scottish Liberal Democrats to local authorities revealed:

  • 207,960 flytipping incidents were reported between 2019/20 and 2021/22,
  • Just 2,467 fixed penalty notices were issued,
  • Glasgow City Council reported the highest number of incidents with 67,219 but issued just 209 fines.
  • Only six of the local authorities had passed cases to the Procurator Fiscal and only one (East Dunbartonshire) had obtained a conviction.

Mr Rennie said: “Littering might as well be legal under this SNP government. From remote beauty spots to busy cities, these figures show that flytipping is a blight on our beautiful country. Not only that but it can prove catastrophic for animals, plants and soil.

“The pandemic and the bin strikes disrupted refuse collections but there is also a fundamental unfairness in the present system, which sees farmers and other owners left with the responsibility for clearing up waste which has been dumped on their properties.

“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 flytipping to help them with the clear up costs. This should use the proceeds of a new restitution order which hits offenders’ pockets hard. This could see courts able to require a contribution from offenders to a new national fund available to help victims.”


  1. Ever tried to take domestic rubbish to a West Dunbartonshire Council recycling facility using a van or a small trailer.

    It more trouble, more grief than it’s worth. If you haven’t booked, using the online registration process then you are turned away. Similarly if you don’t have access to a van or trailer, and you want some items uplifted, you first arrange an appointment for council worker to visit your house to give you a price, you then get that price sent to you, you then accept or not, and if you accept the Council then confirm a future date when uplift can be made.

    Any wonder then why folks just fly tip. The system encourages it.

  2. If you try and take domestic waste to a West Dunbartonshire Council tip using a van or a small trailer, then unless you have booked online a minimum of 24 hours beforehand then you are turned away.

    Similarly, if you do not have transport and require an uplift then households have to a) contact the council who will then b) send out operatives to prepare a price for uplift based upon so much for a chair, so much for a chest of drawers, so much for a TV etc etc and where thereafter c) the Council will intimate a price which d) if the resident accepts they will be booked a date for uplift.

    Absolutely no surprise then why there is so much fly tipping. The system is designed to encourage it. And surprise surprise, West Dunbartonshire Council has one of the lowest recycling rates, and highest fly tipping rates in Scotland.

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