Tougher penalties needed to fight Scotland’s flytipping shame

Press Release
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People who illegally dump rubbish, sofas and building materials in Scotland’s beautiful countryside, roadsides and railways need to be hit with higher fines and longer prison sentences to end Scotland’s flytipping shame once and for all.

That’s the message from Scottish Land & Estates and Keep Scotland Beautiful today as the Scottish Government is consulting on its litter & flytipping strategy which closes this week.

The organisations are also calling for:

  • Support for the victims of flytipping including farmers and other landowners to help cover the costs of cleaning up the mess, which often includes hazardous waste. Currently farmers and other private landowners may be issued with a warning notice to remove hazardous flytipped waste within 7 days at their own expense despite being the victim of a crime.
  • New legislation to be introduced. The proposed timeline from the government needs to move more urgently to deal with the most immediate concerns and enable practical initiatives to be put in place.
  • Relevant organisations and public bodies to work together on a central flytipping database to show the full extent of the problem across Scotland. Many incidents of flytipping are currently not reported and instead the victims just quietly clean it up.
  • A campaign to educate the public about how to legally get rid of their unwanted waste and how to spot unscrupulous, illegal ‘waste removers’.

Simon Ovenden, Policy Adviser at Scottish Land & Estates said: “The tidal wave of builders’ rubbish, household junk and toxic waste engulfing our beautiful countryside must be stopped. To help end this often large scale criminal activity, we believe greater public education regarding the true impact of flytipping is needed as well as tougher prison sentences, significantly higher fines, scrapping the offender’s vehicle and making the polluter pay for the clean-up, rather than the innocent victim who owns the property. Our livestock, wildlife and environment deserve better.”

Keep Scotland Beautiful’s CEO, Barry Fisher, commented, “Flytipping is not a victimless crime.  Its impacts on communities, landowners, and our environment are wide ranging.  The Litter and Flytipping Strategy for Scotland is a step forward towards tackling some of the issues which impact us all, but sadly much more needs to be done.

“Enforcement is a key part of the solution to the criminal activity leading to our flytipping problem, alongside provision and good access to waste disposal facilities, education initiatives and campaigns. We all need to do much more to tackle this waste disposal crisis.”

SLE members who are logged in can read our Consultation Response to the Scottish Government’s National Litter and Flytipping Strategy here.