SEPA waste crime team returns to Fort William to tackle flytipping

date15 March 2018

Officers from the Waste Crime Team of the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA) were in Fort William again this week to investigate, and help address, flytipping at an illegal site at Mount Alexander, Camaghael.

The visits to local businesses this week will continue to gather information, check permits and reinforce the responsibilities and obligations that apply to anyone producing, carrying or managing waste. Information Notices will be issued to any businesses who are unable to provide details of how they are disposing of their waste.

A previous multi-agency week of activity spanning the end of January and beginning of February, which also involved Police Scotland and Highland Council, has already been successful in raising awareness of relevant legislation and gaining some understanding of the potential origins of the waste.

Building and construction materials are among the various types of waste that have been accumulating at the illegal site in Camaghael for a considerable time. It is evident that tradesmen in the area are persistently dumping waste materials at the site to avoid paying the cost of disposal at legitimate waste management sites. This is clearly for financial gain, with complete disregard for the law and the possible environmental consequences.

Remediation work for the site would be complicated given the scale of waste, the unknown nature of older deposits and the risk of it becoming unstable. SEPA estimates the cost of removal could be as much as £50,000, depending on the types of waste involved.

To deter further flytipping, stone blocks have been donated by a local business to restrict access to the site.

SEPA’s Chief Executive Officer, Terry A’Hearn, said:

“Every day SEPA works to protect and enhance Scotland’s environment and tackling illegal waste management activities is one of our major priorities.

“It is a criminal offense to illegally dispose of waste, with firm obligations on the waste producer to ensure their waste is managed by a SEPA registered waste carrier at a fully-licensed site. We are continuing to work to identify the responsible party for clearing the waste. Tackling those who continue to ignore regulations designed to protect our environment and communities will help ensure this behaviour does not continue.”

Everyone can help end the selfish, criminal flytipping behaviours that blight our communities. We all have a legal responsibility to ensure that we produce, store, transport and dispose of our waste without harming the environment, which means we need to ensure that only licensed professionals handle our waste. SEPA maintains an online register of licensed waste carriers and brokers enabling the public or businesses to check and ensure that contractors are sufficiently compliant.

If you suspect flytipping is being carried out, or want to report illegal traders, you can call the Dumb Dumpers Stopline on 0845 2 30 40 90 or by completing a form at www.dumbdumpers.org.

Ends

 

Notes to editors

 

  • Dumb Dumpers is the national public reporting tool for flytipping in Scotland originally set up by the Scottish Flytipping Forum. If a reported incident is on-going, is believed to be a hazardous nature or is near a watercourse, the information will be passed to SEPA or Police Scotland as appropriate. If the incident is not urgent or the waste concerned is non-hazardous, the information will be passed to the local authority for investigation. For more information, visit www.dumbdumpers.org.

  • For further information about waste regulations, visit the SEPA website.