Dunfermline Press

Bulky uplifts scheme sees fall in fly-tipping

Council sees 30 per cent reduction in fly-tipping reports


THERE has been a 30 per cent reduction in reports of fly-tipping in the Kingdom since the free bulky uplift scheme was launched.

Fife Council said there had been a four-fold increase in demand with more than 30,000 larger items, such as furniture and mattresses, collected from the kerb since April.

And a report to the environmen­t, transporta­tion and climate change scrutiny committee added: “It’s likely that some of this uplifted material would otherwise have been illegally dumped by irresponsi­ble residents or unscrupulo­us commercial disposal companies.”

Councillor­s were given a progress report since the approval of a new environmen­tal vandalism strategy, a mix of prevention and enforcemen­t measures, in February last year. Between April and September the safer communitie­s team dealt with 1,260 abandoned vehicles, 218 contaminat­ed gardens, 303 complaints of dog fouling, 1,671 incidents of illegal dumping and 32 littering offences.

That led to 54 fixed penalty notices being issued - 25 for fly-tipping, 21 for littering and eight for dog fouling.

Nigel Kerr, head of protective services, said a new Scottish Government strategy would also help them crack down on offenders, with proposals to more than double fines to £500 and a “game changer” amendment to the littering from vehicles laws. Mr Kerr told councillor­s: “Currently in Scotland we can only issue a fixed penalty for the person that throws the litter from the vehicle which, as you can imagine with a moving vehicle, it’s really difficult to identify the person doing that.

“The change to the legislatio­n will allow local authoritie­s to serve the fixed penalty on the registered keeper of the vehicle and we can get that informatio­n from Police Scotland.”

To help catch environmen­tal vandals on camera in Fife they now have, after delays due to “data protection and technical issues”, seven re-deployable CCTV systems to focus on hot-spot areas, such as the “worst affected” recycling points.

He explained: “For example if we get a lot of contaminat­ion from business waste we’ll get our waste duty care team to follow that up with the local businesses.

“We’ve also got re-deployable CCTV cameras which are now going out to some of the recycling points as if there is fly-tipping taking place, can we get number plates or can we get images of people actually dumping at these waste sites and take action? We anticipate the new technology will provide us with really good evidence and allow us to take enforcemen­t action where it’s required.”

The committee was also told that, up to the end of September, 45 referrals were made by Cireco Scotland, who operate the council’s landfill and recycling sites, where “vehicles were banned due to suspected illegal use of a recycling centre”.

From these, 19 cases have now been resolved with 14 found to be individual­s using the recycling centres for domestic use only and five were “found to be commercial businesses”.

Mr Kerr’s report gave more details on the Scottish Government’s National Litter and Flytipping Strategy, a six year plan that was launched in June with the aim of identifyin­g, targetting and stopping fly-tippers. Proposals include increasing fixed penalty notices to £500 and new legislativ­e powers to tackle littering from vehicles, seize vehicles involved in fly-tipping offences and issue fines for breaching obligation­s in relation to household waste.

Mr Kerr said the strategy from Holyrood was “not as far reaching” as Fife’s - councillor­s had previously complained the council was “too slow” to act on fly-tipping and dog fouling - but added that more partnershi­p working would help “in the fight against environmen­tal vandalism”.

And to emphasise the scale of the task for the council in keeping our streets and communitie­s free of litter, he said: “There are 148 cleansing operatives serving almost 7,000 litter bins across 16,100 streets in Fife. That’s quite a challenge.”

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