Illegal dumping and fly tipping is a crime and is a scourge on our communities; that is the message from Councillor Jim McMahon, Cabinet Member for Older People, Outdoor Services, the Corporate Enforcement Unit (CEU) and Police Scotland.
In urban and rural areas across Scotland, fly tipping and the illegal disposal of waste is a major issue and the clear up cost to local authorities is more than £8.9m each year. It also undermines legitimate waste businesses, as illegal operators under undercut those operating within the law.
Across East Ayrshire, strong action is being taken to tackle fly tipping, and detailed investigations are taking place to identify those responsible.
Two dedicated hit squads from Outdoor Services hit the roads five days a week, patrolling rural roads and streets throughout East Ayrshire and responding to reports of dumped waste from our residents.
They work tirelessly collecting dumped items from our rural roads and urban areas, filling their van up to three times a day with waste. The team also photographs all fly tipping, reporting directly to Zero Waste Scotland via a mobile device to ensure that an accurate picture is being created nationally.
Cllr McMahon went out on patrol with one of the teams recently collecting two leather sofas that had been dumped on the back road out of Logan. The van was full to bursting by lunchtime with bags of waste and even a gutted deer carcass that had been dumped at the side of the road.
The hit squad teams also work closely with the CEU who investigate the dumped waste and issue fixed penalty notices of £200 to anyone identified. Following a detailed investigation this week, a fixed penalty notice was issued to an individual who had dumped waste at Laigh Milton Mill near Kilmarnock.
The CEU also carry out regular joint patrols with colleagues from Police Scotland targeting environmental crimes, including dog fouling and fly tipping, issuing fixed penalty notices and providing guidance to our communities.
Councillor Jim McMahon said: “It beggars belief that people are driving into our beautiful countryside to dump waste and fly tip. Dumping waste is a criminal offence and is not a victimless crime. Taxpayers pick up the bill, clear up costs are significant and the waste has a negative impact on our countryside and our communities.
“It is not only a criminal offence to dump waste, but is also an offence to allow your waste to be dumped by someone else. This means that if you give your waste to an unlicensed waste carrier or business, there is a good chance that you will end up with a £200 fine or being reported to the Procurator Fiscal under the Environmental Protection Act 1990. The maximum fine the Court can impose is £40,000 so it really doesn’t pay to dump waste illegally or give it to someone to dump for you.”