Kirkcaldy councillor to tackle fly tipping rules

Burntisland pensioner William Strawn
Burntisland pensioner William Strawn

A Burntisland councillor is set to raise a motion challenging Fife Council’s zero tolerance fly tipping stance which he claims is “rubbishing” its recycling reputation.

Councillor George Kay is set to raise the issue with the scrutiny committee.

He wants written warnings - not fines - for people who have disposed of waste at recycling points outwith the containers provided, but in a “properly presented fashion.”

And only if they are caught a second time, they could then be fined.

His action follows an incident just before Christmas when at least eight residents in Burntisland, including 86-year-old William Strawn, were given £200 fines for “fly tipping” after leaving bags of paper waste at the side of already full recycling bins.

Officers tracked them after finding their details in documents in the waste - and when they protested, they were told that the council has a zero tolerance policy and would not change its decision.

Councillor Kay said the fact that the same thing had happened the previous year in Kinghorn meant that the policy had not been made clear.

He said: “I am hopeful that this motion will be supported on a cross party basis.

‘‘It is basically a two strike policy.”

His motion applauds the work of Fife’s environmental enforcement officers in trying to make Fife a litter free place, and supports them in their efforts in tackling both the problem and the people who cause it.

It also notes that recent events at recycling points associated with the policy, which is described as “zero tolerance” have ‘‘adversely contributed’’ towards the common goal, as it has resulted in imposing disproportionate financial penalties on those who are not seeking to deface the environment.

The councillor says that, as a consequence, the application of that policy is targeting the wrong people and is damaging to the council’s reputation - and that there is a need for guidance to be given to the council’s officers and to the community.

Councillor Kay wants the committee to agree to recommend to the executive committee a policy that a written warning is given to people who leave items at a recycling point outwith the appropriate container, but otherwise properly presented, and any further repeat will result in a fixed penalty of £200.”