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Calls for fly-tipping deterrent to be beefed up in Highlands as shocking figures show extent of problem


By Louise Glen

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Fly-tipping at the Clootie Well near Munlochy on the Black Isle.
Fly-tipping at the Clootie Well near Munlochy on the Black Isle.

A political hopeful is calling on the Scottish Government to review the existing penalty for fly-tipping after revealing 3952 cases were reported across Highland Council in the last two years.

Molly Nolan, who is the Scottish Liberal Democrat's environment spokeswoman, condemned the behaviour of people who dispose of their waste illegally and called for them to “face the full force of the law”.

It comes after an investigation by the Liberal Democrats revealed that 127,625 reports of fly tipping were flagged to local authorities across Scotland in the past two years, but only 12 were referred to the procurator fiscal.

According to the Scottish Environment Protection Agency, clearing up illegal dumping costs Scottish local authorities more than £2.5 million each year.

Molly Nolan.
Molly Nolan.

Ms Nolan, Liberal Democrat candidate for Caithness, Sutherland and Ross, said:“From remote beauty spots to busy cities, fly-tipping is a widespread issue. It needs to be addressed.

“With refuse collections disrupted and tips closed for long stretches, there has clearly been an increase in incidents since the pandemic hit. Just as many of us gained a fresh appreciation for our environment, it is disheartening to see such carelessness.

“Fly-tipping is destructive and can prove catastrophic for animals, plants and soil.

“Clearly not enough is being done to clamp down on this disgusting behaviour and ensure repeat offenders feel the full force of the law. The next Scottish Government will need to look again at whether the existing penalty is a strong enough deterrent."

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