Police raise fly-tipping fears over council plans

Police have raised concerns over the policy.
Police have raised concerns over the policy.

Police have raised concerns over fly-tipping after Fife Council took the decision to charge for commercial waste disposal.

Ken Gourlay, head of assets, transportation and environment, asked the committee to approve a measure to start charging businesses who used household waste recycling centres to dispose of waste.

In his report, he stated that the estimated income generated over 2018/19 would be £264,000 rising to £500,000 by 2019/2020.

The new measure would be introduced on January 1, 2019.

Projections form a previous study estimated that providing commercial collections cost the council £2m every year, a cost which Mr Gourlay called “no longer sustainable”.

But Police chief superintendent Colin Gall said: “Fly-tipping would increase fire hazards in local areas.

“If they’re not going to pay for these collections, where will they tip that waste?

“And if it’s not going into skips, whose issue will that become?”

But convener of the committee Ross Vettriano said: “In this policy we have taken fly-tipping into account.

“There has been an increase in fly-tipping, but we have no evidence of that coming from commercial waste.

“The issue is, the council can’t issue a fixed penalty notice unless we actually see it. And I’m not going to be held to ransom by environmental vandals.”

Officer Gall suggested that there may be appropriate for the emergency services to provide intelligence back to the council and Cllr Vettriano welcomed the opportunity to work closer.

The new measure would also see pedestrian access to the recycling centres banned, due to health and safety concerns.

Cllr Margaret Kennedy strongly opposed the banning of pedestrian access, saying: “Banning pedestrian access means that we’re not allowing them to go in with bags of glass waste to local sites.

“I support the measure in principal, but I can not support the banning of pedestrian access.”

There was also a question over member of the public taking trailers into the recycling centre with genuine household waste, but worried about being charged.

Cllr Derek Noble asked what measures would be used to ensure that they weren’t being charged for commercial waste which would put them off using the facilities as they were intended.

Robin Baird, chief operating officer at Fife Resources said that a common sense approach would be used and training given to workers.

He added: “Obviously if someone is turning up four or five days a week with ‘household waste’ staff will be trained enough to recognise this. But for trailers bringing in household waste it will be common sense.”

The committee agreed the report and would look at the recommendations.

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