West Lothian Council to launch summer fly-tipping campaign
West Lothian Council is planning a new summer campaign to target fly-tippers as costs to tackle the problem continue to soar.
In a report to Linlithgow’s Local Area Committee, the NETs Land and Countryside teams revealed that fly-tipping across the county had cost the council £60,098.04 from January 1 to the end of March this year. Those costs were made up by the working and vehicle costs to lift and dispose of waste illegally dumped.
The number of enquiries received between 1 January 2020 – 31 March 2021 for Linlithgow was 35 out of 730 enquiries for the whole of West Lothian equating to 4.8 per cent of fly-tipping enquiries .
This figure has almost doubled in a year in terms of costs, £34,000 to £60,000. And 91 tonnes collected January to March 2021, from 52 tonne collected Jan- March 20.
This would equate to an approximate cost for the ward of £2,884.70 for disposal of fly-tipping between January 1 – March 31, 2021 including cost for staff and vehicles.
Countryside manager Andy Johnston told the meeting that he was discussion with the council communication team working on new messages to go out through the council channels- including over social media- next month.
The police are also increasingly working with council officers on incidents of fly-tipping. A rural crime unit is also looking at off road motorcycle use in the countryside as well anti-social behaviour in areas such as Beecraigs.
Fly-tipping remains a civil offence and, as such, fines remain disproportionately low for those convicted. Moves are afoot to criminalise fly-tipping and local authorities are working with national bodies such as Zero Waste Scotland .
On its website Zero Waste Scotland issued an appeal to the public to help crack down on dumb dumpers on public and private land highlighting the costs to farmers to remove waste tipped.
It added: “Dealing with litter and fly-tipping costs an eye watering £53 million of public money in Scotland every year, and that’s only in relation to public land.”