Calls to get tough on fly-tippers as rubbish is dumped across the Buchan area
A spate of fly-tipping incidents in the Buchan area has prompted the area’s MP to call for tougher penalties to deter people from dumping their rubbish.
David Duguid, MP for Banff and Buchan, spoke of his disgust after items including a microwave and a Christmas tree were left dumped in a stream in Inverugie.
In another incident just a mile away, a mound of wooden pallets, bags of rubbish and tarpaulin were left next to Berryhill Driving Range.
Mr Duguid has now called on the Scottish Government to address the problem due to the increase in domestic and commercial waste being left on rural land despite recycling centres being open.
He has also backed a Scottish Conservative bill in the Scottish Parliament to tackle the “scourge of fly-tipping” by increasing fines and making offenders liable.
Mr Duguid said: “I’m disgusted and appalled to see a rise in these types of incidents in recent days in places such as Inverugie.
“Fly-tipping is a scourge on our landscape, leaving unwanted items and waste on land, resulting in landowners having to pay to remove it.
“It can also result in an unfair burden on the taxpayer as it is the council who are often left to clear up the mess.
“It’s completely irresponsible for someone to resort to this simply because they couldn’t be bothered to dispose of items such as a microwave properly when they could have gone to a recycling centre.
“Fly-tipping is a disgrace and action needs to be taken by the SNP Government such as tougher penalties for offenders in a bid to stop this serious situation from escalating further.”
The Members’ Bill by Mr Duguid’s Conservative colleague Murdo Fraser MSP has gained backing from both the National Farmers Union (NFU) Scotland and Scottish Land and Estates, an organisation supporting rural land-based businesses.
NFU Scotland president Martin Kennedy described fly-tipping as a permanent scar on the natural environment. In the past year, he has been made aware of cases involving the dumping of rotting meat, hazardous asbestos waste, domestic appliances, household waste, builder's rubble, garden cuttings, pallets, tyres and car batteries.
He said: “Despite recycling centres reopening, fly-tipping and illegal dumping incidents are still being recorded daily by NFU Scotland members and are a continuous blight on rural Scotland.
“Farmers are most often left to foot the bill for disposal – that is fundamentally unfair and must change."
Scottish Land and Estates chief executive Sarah-Jane Laing added: "Scotland needs to end the scourge of fly-tipping.
"Better reporting channels, correlation of national reporting, stronger penalties and shifting liability from the affected landowners to the source of the waste are all crucial to effectively tackling fly-tipping.”