SLE launches manifesto with a call to tackle fly-tipping in rural Scotland

Press Release

Fly-tipping is more than an eyesore and protecting our rural communities from it must be a priority for the next Scottish Government, Scottish Land & Estates (SLE) said as they launched their manifesto “People, Jobs and Nature” ahead of the Scottish Parliament elections.

The rural business organisation called on candidates to prioritise the issue as a matter of urgency after the election.

Fly-tipping has been an issue for some time, but from the beginning of the pandemic, it has increased as local authority waste and recycling centres were closed or queued. Even after re-opening significant problems have remained.

Landowners and farmers remain plagued by fly-tippers.  In the past the picturesque sights across Scotland are routinely disturbed by the unwelcome sight of garden and other waste.

SLE’s Chief Executive Sarah-Jane Laing said:

“Ending the scourge of fly-tipping and healing our rural communities is at the heart of SLE’s priorities for the next parliament. In our manifesto “People, Jobs and Nature” we call on all parties to commit to prevent, detect and prosecute fly-tipping offences. With tough sentences for repeat offenders.

“Fly-tipping has serious social, environmental and health implications. It poses a threat to people and wildlife, damages our environment and spoils people’s enjoyment of the outdoors.

“It is more than an eyesore. It is dangerous, and it is a crime. Too many landowners and farmers find themselves in a vicious cycle of costly clean-ups. Forced, as victims, to not only have to remove potentially hazardous materials, but also to bear the financial burden of waste crime. Rural businesses can find themselves liable for bills of thousands of pounds to clean up land that has been fly-tipped, with many offered no support from their local authority.

“We are pleased, that after representation from SLE and others, the Scottish Government agreed to give equal weight to fly-tipping in its forthcoming litter strategy. We will work with the next Government and all parties to protect our rural communities from fly-tipping with tough measures and comprehensive cover, to ensure victims of fly-tipping are no longer out of pocket to clear it up.”

The SLE manifesto can be found here.