Councils urged not to charge flytipping victims at the dump

Press Release

Household Waste and Recycling Centres (HWRCs) are due to be opened by Scottish councils on 1 June 2020 to allow safe and responsible access for locals.

We strongly welcome the move to re-open HWRCs if staff and public safety can be maintained, and today we have written to all 32 Scottish local authorities urging them to support landowners who have been the victim of flytipping.

Rubbish breeds rubbish and our members have seen piles of flytipped rubbish on their property getting bigger and bigger as they have had no means of disposing of it. With this in mind, this illegally dumped waste urgently needs to be disposed of quickly and safely. That’s why we are asking local authorities to allow private landowners, who did not cause or knowingly permit flytipping, priority access to their local HWRC and to be able to dispose of this waste free of charge. In the past, some landowners have been charged when taking flytipped rubbish to their local dump.

Some of Scotland’s local authorities already uplift flytipped waste on private land if it is reasonably near public land. Where feasible and resources allow, we would like to see this supportive approach replicated across all 32 local authorities.

The re-opening of Scotland’s HWRCs comes after our members reported a huge spike in the amount of flytipping taking place on farms and estates across Scotland during lockdown, so we took action to help curb this big issue.

  1. We wrote to Roseanna Cunningham, Cabinet Secretary for Environment, Climate Change and Land Reform, in May, asking her to step in to help stop the problem getting bigger.
  2. We shared shocking pictures from our members of illegally dumped rubbish bags, furniture and children’s toys with the press, which helped highlight the issue through widespread media coverage.
  3. We asked our members to get involved and write to their local politicians. Over 40 MSPs, MPs and councillors have replied, pledging their support.
  4. We have been working with stakeholders including Zero Waste Scotland, Police Scotland and Scottish Environment Protection Agency to help find a solution to flytipping.


Scottish Land & Estates members should keep telling us about new incidents of flytipping on their property, by emailing our Policy Adviser Karen Ramoo at


View our open letter to Roseanna Cunningham, Cabinet Secretary for Environment, Climate Change and Land Reform.

View our press release ‘Scottish Government asked to step in as bin bag of human faeces found among illegally dumped rubbish'.

View our press release ‘Farmers fighting to feed the country see flytipping spike'.