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Bigger fines are not deterring flytippers

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By Marc McLean, local democracy reporter
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Bigger fines are not deterring flytippers

MORE flytippers are spoiling the beauty of Dumfries and Galloway – despite fines doubling earlier this year.

There has been an increase in incidents of waste being discarded across the region by thoughtless dumpers, council officials confirmed this week.

Garbage and unwanted items have been piling up in lay-bys, woodland, and spoiling scenic spots.

This is despite the threat of an on-the-spot £500 fine, while more serious offences can result in fines of up to £40,000 and a prison sentence.

Three teams within the council have joined forces to try and combat the recent increase in flytipping across the region.

And the issue was discussed at the communities committee on Tuesday, where Mid and Upper Nithsdale Councillor Tony Berretti asked: “Has flytipping been reduced as a result of any measures we’ve taken?”

Karen Brownlie, the interim head of facilities, waste and neighbourhood services, responded: “I don’t have specific figures, but I can confirm that, as a region, we are seeing some increases in flytipping across the region.

“I can assure members that the waste team, the communities assets team, and the community safety team are working together to look at the issues that we’re seeing in relation to flytipping across the region.

“And we will develop a plan in order to communicate to our communities in relation to our waste recycling centres so that certainly households can take their waste to those.”

Last year, Galloway and West Dumfries MSP Finlay Carson argued that the increased fines don’t go far enough.

He noted that across Dumfries and Galloway there were nearly 1498 incidents of fly-tipping between 2019/20 and 2021/22 but just 70 fixed penalties dished out. And in 2022/23 only 19 people were fined for littering.

Mr Carson said: “There must be much more forceful pursuit of offenders. It is far too easy to get away with dumping waste and I believe it must be much more vigilantly policed.”

n To report flytipping, call 030 33 33 3000, or email [email protected].

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