Burntisland folk hit out at £200 penalties for fly tipping

Mr Strawn (86) put a bag of waste paper recycling outwith the bins on the Links - and was fined �200. Picture by FPA.
Mr Strawn (86) put a bag of waste paper recycling outwith the bins on the Links - and was fined �200. Picture by FPA.

Angry Burntisland residents have been left fuming after being issued with hefty fines for “fly tipping” while trying to recycle their paper waste.

Those hit with the £200 penalties include an 86-year-old man and a student, and there are believed to be at least another six people affected.

William Strawn was fined just a few days before Christmas - leaving him “upset and anxious.”

Jeanette Malone, his daughter, said: “He is really upset at being branded a fly-tipper, because this couldn’t be further from the truth.

“My dad went down the recycling centre on the Links with some bags of paper and found all the bins full. There were black bags at the side of the bins and, not wanting to leave more, he emptied his into these, so they were all together.

“A few days later a council officer came to the door saying he would be issued with a fixed penalty for fly tipping because they had found letters with his details.

“He was told that the bins were full because the shopkeepers in the area had been using it for their waste instead of waiting for the commercial uplifts, which makes me 
really angry.

“He was trying to do the right thing by recycling, which Fife Council promotes all the time, but for his efforts he has been issued with a big fine.”

Heather Moffat of Inchgarvie Avenue, said her husband found the facility ‘‘chock a block’’ with rubbish the Monday before Christmas.

“He tidied up rubbish that was lying loose and put everything into a carrier bag next to the bins which are in a fenced off area of the car park - and the next thing there was a council man at the door asking 
if he had used the recycling centre.

“He said they had found documents with my name and address on it outside of the bins and he would be fined for fly tipping. He told us eight people were being given fixed penalties.

“Neither of us has ever had so much as a speeding ticket in our lives and we have always tried to recycle what we can just like the council asks. This has really got our backs up.’’

The couple raised the issue with local councillor George Kay.

She added: “There were no warning signs when he was down, but since then posters have appeared. I feel this is very heavy handed as most people don’t realise they shouldn’t leave recycling if the bins are full.”

Councillor Kay said similar problems arose in Kinghorn last Christmas - and that meant the council wasn’t getting its message across.

He said: “I have written to the chief executive asking that these fines be withdrawn on this occasion because it is obvious that people don’t know that leaving bags within the fenced area but not inside the bins is illegal.”

But the penalties were defended by the local authority.

Mark McCall, service manager, said: “Previous years have seen increased fly-tipping at recycling points over Christmas and New Year. This year we undertook a large campaign, including additional signage, prior to the holiday period to advise members of the public not to dump material at recycling points.

“We take a zero tolerance approach toward littering and fly tipping and issue fixed penalty notices to anyone not disposing of waste in an appropriate container. This includes litter, dog waste, general waste, or recyclable material. This has been our policy for a number of years and its implementation has been consistent, which removes any ambiguity when officers are dealing with 
this problem.”