MSP plans new Bill to tackle ‘scourge’ of fly-tipping

Conservative Murdo Fraser has started working on a Members’ Bill which could also make those who dump rubbish illegally responsible for cleaning it up.

Murdo Fraser is set to launch a bill to tackle fly-tipping

With the global climate change summit due to take place in Glasgow later this year, he said: “Cutting down on the inconsiderate crime of fly-tipping would deliver a huge boost to Scotland’s environment in the year of Cop26.”

The Mid Scotland and Fife MSP has now started working with the Scottish Parliament’s non-government bills unit on the proposals – which have already won the backing of both the National Farmers Union (NFU) Scotland and estate owners in the Scottish Land and Estates organisation.

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Items such as rotting meat, hazardous asbestos waste, domestic appliances, household waste and old tyres and car batteries have all been found dumped this year, NFU Scotland president Martin Kennedy – adding it is often farmers who are left to pay for disposal.

Mr Fraser said fly-tipping is a “growing problem” that needs to be tackled.

Fixed-penalty notices of £200 can currently be imposed on those caught dumping rubbish.

Mr Fraser said: “I am focused on changing the law to clamp down on fly-tipping by toughening up fines to act as more of a deterrent, as it is apparent that the current penalties are not working.

“I am also keen to examine how we can shift the liability for cleaning up fly-tipping to the offenders who ditch the waste, instead of the current unfair practice where innocent land owners are accountable, and how to better collect information on fly-tipping.”

He said he will continue to meet with “key interested groups” as he confirmed that after “such an encouraging initial response” to talks, he had “decided to introduce a Members’ Bill to make the necessary changes to the law”.

Mr Kennedy said: “Fly-tipping is a permanent scar on our natural environment.

“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.

“Cases in the past year alone have included rotting meat, hazardous asbestos waste, domestic appliances, household waste, builder’s rubble, garden cuttings, pallets, and garage waste, including tyres and car batteries.

“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 said: “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.

“We welcome Mr Fraser’s intention to introduce a Members’ Bill as it is clear current sanctions are not acting as a deterrent and need strengthened.”

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