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Flytipping: Shift focus from cleaning up to prevention


By Alistair Whitfield

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Scotland's leading rural and environmental agencies have penned a joint open letter appealing for more action against flytipping.

NFU Scotland, Scottish Land and Estates, the Scottish Partnership Against Rural Crime, Keep Scotland Beautiful and Woodland Trust have collectively written to the Scottish Government to ask how it intends to tackle the problem.

Rubbish dumped at Fogwatt during the lockdown
Rubbish dumped at Fogwatt during the lockdown

The organisations say they want a shift in focus from the endless task of clearing up other people's mess to preventing it from occurring in the first place.

They have written: "We jointly write to you to express our continued concerns about flytipping which continues to blight Scotland's countryside and to ask you to clarify the Scottish Government’s plans for tackling this issue in the short to medium term.

"Scotland's beautiful countryside continues to be blighted by people's rubbish on a daily basis and the negative impact this is having is significant.

"We know that flytipping can cause a wide range of problems to the natural, social and economic environment, including harm to wildlife and livestock, disease transmission, soil contamination, attraction of other crimes and substantial clear-up costs.

"Waste crime is becoming an increasingly more visible issue and we believe a new approach is needed to turn the tables on this crime for good."

Rubbish dumped near Keith during lockdown.
Rubbish dumped near Keith during lockdown.

The joint letter goes on to suggest a greater use of data to assess the scale and impact of the problem, which could then be used to drive action at a regional or local level.

It adds: "With Scotland rightly perceived as leading the way on a range of environmental issues, we believe 2020 should be the year we must start to address this issue.

"Now is the time to bring all stakeholders to the table and agree how we can collectively tackle flytipping.

"We firmly believe that by dealing with flytipping more effectively there are significant benefits for Scotland’s economy – as well as for society and the environment – which as we recover from a global pandemic could not be more important.

"Every week that passes by without serious action, is another week of our beautiful country being used as a dumping ground."

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