‘Don’t Rubbish Fife’ – Council launches campaign to tackle illegal dumping

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Fife Council’s new hard-hitting ‘Don’t Rubbish Fife’ campaign designed to tackle illegal dumping, which is a serious problem for Fife, is launched today, Monday 28 February, in Kirkcaldy.

Illegal dumping, often known as fly-tipping, is a crime that poses a risk to human health, wildlife and the local environment.

Launching initially in the Templehall area of Kirkcaldy the pilot campaign to tackle illegal dumping kicks off the council’s drive to tackle environmental vandalism. Actions include increasing resources, including patrols, clear-ups and CCTV in 'hotspots' to encourage responsible waste disposal and discourage tipping. Community groups and residents are working with the council to help stop illegal dumping by undertaking clean-ups and sharing intelligence on how and where fly-tippers are operating.

The illegal dumping of rubbish, like white goods, mattresses and bags of waste - including clear-up and lost taxes - is estimated to be around £1 billion across the UK every year. Across Scotland there are an estimated 60,000 flytipping incidents every year, amounting to around 26,000 tonnes of dumped items.

People who dump waste illegally can be the subject of a fixed penalty fine of £200 and more serious cases may incur fines up to £40,000, or even imprisonment.

Cllr Ross Vettraino, Convener - Environment and Protective Services Sub-Committee, said: “Fife Council has zero tolerance to illegal waste dumping, which is entirely avoidable. Waste crime not only poses risks to human health, wildlife and the environment, but also businesses and communities. There is no excuse and it will not be tolerated.

“Fife is a region that prides itself on the beauty of its natural landscape, and I know that most people want to keep it that way. Everyone has a responsibility to ensure that their waste is appropriately disposed of.”

The new campaign will also raise awareness of the duty of householders to ensure that their waste is disposed of responsibility. Part of the problem is caused when people allow their waste to be taken away by unlicensed waste carriers.  It's important to think about to what happens to household waste when a third-party takes it away.

If someone passes their waste on and it's found to be flytipped, they may share liability with the fly-tipper. If illegally discarded waste is traced back to the owner, and if a licenced waste carrier hasn’t been used to dispose of the waste, then the owner may be subject to enforcement action.

Advice for local people paying someone to dispose of waste:

  • Check SEPA's registered waste carriers list online. Alternatively, ask to see a (SEPA issued) waste carrier’s license.
  • Ask what is going to happen to your rubbish.
  • Get a receipt.

Nigel Kerr, Head of Protective Services, Fife Council, said: "Illegal dumping has far wider consequences than ‘just’ making our landscapes look ugly.

“To help stop illegal dumping we’re urging local people to check that waste carriers have a SEPA license. Please remember that we all have a duty to know where our waste is going.

“We know that most people want to take pride in their local area and that to be successful the council needs the support of local people, who are our eyes and ears in the community. This is why we’re asking Fifers to help stop fly-tipping by reporting it.”

How to report illegal dumping in Fife:

There are lots of ways that Fifers can get rid of waste, rather than sending it directly to landfill. Visit our  recycling, upcycling and re-use pages for more information. Visit: www.fife.gov.uk/recycling