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Fury over dumped junk

Menace: Fly tipping

FLY TIPPING has worsened since the Covid-19 lockdown and now the issue is being raised in Holyrood. Councils were told to prioritise collection of waste which could pose a risk to health. Some - Dumfries and Galloway among them - cut back on recycling collections as a result. In some areas that has seen an increase in people burning rubbish. Meanwhile, fly tipping has long been a problem in rural areas and has now worsened, prompting MSP Emma Harper to raise the issue in the Scottish Parliament. In a motion which the South Scotland MSP has laid before Holyrood, she has echoed comments from COSLA – the body which represents Scottish local authorities – who have said that fly tipping has increased significantly since lockdown was imposed. Comments related to fly-tipping across Scotland have been made by the Scottish National Farmers' Union and Miss Harper was contacted by the People's Project representative, Mark Jardine. NFUS reported that fly-tipping included items being dumped on agricultural land, in parks, in public places and on local authority property. These dumped items include ripped-out home furnishings, garden waste, bags full of decomposing and rotting food and a particular concern by Mr Jardine was that lots of gloves and face masks are now frequently being littered. In the motion, Miss Harper – while thanking the public for everything they are doing during this challenging time - has urged people across Dumfries and Galloway, and across Scotland, to ensure they dispose of their waste appropriately and if they are unsure or are having issues disposing of additional waste then to contact their local authority for advice. “I raised the motion at Holyrood as I have concerns about an increase in reports of fly-tipping across Dumfries and Galloway and Scotland since the lockdown restrictions have been put in place and many local authority recycling centres are now closed. “COSLA have confirmed that they are seeing an increase of fly-tipping across Scotland, and that dealing with these cases takes staff away from frontline services. "The services are crucial to support people who are following the rules and staying at home which helps tackle COVID-19. Fly-tipping is a criminal offence and those who are caught can face a fine of up to £200, and a criminal conviction. Items which have been dumped include gloves and masks, as well as rotting bags of food – both of which present an environmental and infection risk. “I am urging the public to dispose of all waste appropriately and, should anyone be unsure or be struggling to dispose of additional waste, to contact Dumfries & Galloway Council who will be able to provide advice or, if appropriate, arrange for additional waste collections. “I thank the public for all they are doing at this challenging time and repeat the Scottish Government's advice to stay at home where possible, protect the NHS and save lives.” Mr Jardine, who has had discussions with Miss Harper about the appropriate disposal of waste, added: “This is exactly the time to be even more careful with how we dispose of litter and I'm dismayed and horrified to see personal protective equipment amongst the litter people are throwing onto the ground. Littering and fly-tipping exposes people to Covid-19. I'd like to encourage everyone to do your bit for your country, bag it, bin it, kill it.”

<< back Published: 21 Apr 2020, 10:22

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