Fly tippers struck again last night on Winchburgh’s backroads with locals fearing a serial offender is to blame, with Labour controlled West Lothian Council also under fire for cuts to recycling centre opening times.
A couple of dozen rubbish bags, thought to mainly contain used clothes and food containers, were dumped yesterday in the middle of Peniel Place heading North from the A89 just before the road turns left over the railway bridge.
It is understood that this occurred at sometime between 17:30 and 19:30 yesterday evening. Kindly locals have moved the bags that were strewn over the carriageway to the side of the road, but concerns have been raised that reckless fly tipping onto active roads at night such as happened yesterday could cause a serious accident in the future.
This is not the first time Peniel Place has been hit, sparking fears that a serial fly tipper is targeting the area. In the past, a caravan has been abandoned on the road. Driving down the road today, a mattress and even a large aquarium tank were also seen at the side of the road.
Changes to recycling centre opening times have been blamed for a rise in fly tipping. Others have pointed to the £25 charge introduced in 2018 by Labour controlled West Lothian Council for bulky uplift, and restrictions on vans entering recycling centres. One user of the Winchburgh Facebook group commented: “Council cut backs are wholly to blame. Restricted recycling centre opening hours. Fly tipping was never an issue until recently.”
The number of enquiries received by West Lothian Council in relation
to Fly Tipping has dramatically increased over recent years and in 2018 there were a record 1893 incidents, compared to 1492 in 2017. The figures for 2019 have not been released yet, but it is likely we will see a further increase.
West Lothian Council has previously stated that the bulk of fly tipping incidents are occurring because of rubbish being trucked in from other areas, and that fly tipping is at its worst on the borders of Edinburgh, North and South Lanarkshire.
The issue particularly impacts farmers, with the rubbish often being dumped on their land. A spokeswoman for the National Farmers Union of Scotland said: “Many of our members, particularly on the outskirts of urban areas are blighted by fly tipping, a problem which appears to be increasing significantly.
“The issues range from householders throwing away sofas and fridges to large-scale commercial dumping and then on to illegal warehousing of waste which becomes industrial scale fly tipping.
“Given the blight that rural crime in general is placing on our communities, NFUS is working closer than ever with local police forces and other stake holders to combat this.”