Saturday May 16th 2020
Written by Midlothian View Reporter, Luke Jackson
Self-isolating ‘DIYers’ who flytip are shamelessly costing communities money while diverting vital resources from frontline services, according to Midlothian Council Leader Councillor Derek Milligan.
Councillor Milligan said if the rest of us can be responsible citizens and store waste while recycling centres remain closed, then so too can those tackling home makeovers.
He said: “It honestly beggars belief that our council staff are having to go and clear up the likes of kitchen doors, paint, bricks and plasterboard when they should be doing vital jobs like delivering PPE and supporting carers.
“We’re doing our best to deliver services, such as emptying bins and working towards getting recycling centre services back again – when the government gives us the all clear and we have enough staff – but we really need people to stop being so utterly selfish by dumping their rubbish illegally.
“I’ve been absolutely blown away by amazing examples of communities pulling together during the coronavirus outbreak but this minority group of ‘Covidiots’ are letting the rest of us down.”
Cllr Milligan said with so many residents self-isolating and potentially not reporting flytipping incidences, it is difficult to get an accurate picture of the scale of the problem. Anecdotally, however, waste services say much of the flytipping seems to be done by unlicensed opportunists who offer to dispose of household waste – often from DIY projects – cheaply.
Cllr Milligan said:
“It’s no excuse to say ‘I paid for someone else to take away my DIY rubbish’. If it’s dumped illegally, you’re responsible. Our Environmental Health Wardens will continue to investigate incidences. You too will be held accountable and could face a fixed penalty notice of £200.
“In more serious cases, or where the penalty is not paid, the matter will be referred to the Procurator Fiscal with a view to prosecution. Anyone convicted can face a prison sentence of up to six months and/or a fine of up to £40,000. In some very serious cases, the prison sentence can be up to five years. Police Scotland can also take enforcement action.
“Only give your household waste to licensed professionals – SEPA maintains an online register and always make sure you know where they are taking your waste.”
The Council Leader added that anyone who thinks this is a victimless crime is sadly mistaken. He said: “The reality is there are many victims including friends, family and neighbours of the perpetrator who are all paying their Council Tax – money that could be used to support our amazing frontline staff and services.”
If you see anyone dumping rubbish, report the incident online at the Dumb dumpers website https://www.zerowastescotland.org.uk/DumbDumpersTweet Share on Facebook