Gail Ross, MSP for Caithness, Sutherland and Ross (pictured), has called on the support of the local community to crackdown on illegal fly tipping in the area during lockdown.
Councils across Scotland have temporarily closed waste and recycling centres to help them prioritise the collection of general refuse and protect public health during the coronavirus outbreak – a course of action described as ‘necessary’ by Zero Waste Scotland.
However, while those maintaining essential waste services in Scotland work hard in difficult circumstances, reports of fly tipping across the country have increased.
This has led to calls for local residents to keep a watchful eye out in Caithness, Sutherland and Ross and report anyone dumping rubbish illegally to the ‘Dumb Dumpers’ website online.
Responsibility for recycling centres lies with councils but the Scottish Government is working closely with COSLA and its partners in local authorities on the prioritisation of waste services and on what further guidance and practical steps may be required on recycling centres.
The MSP has also echoed calls from Zero Waste Scotland and SEPA for the public to act responsibly with their waste until recycling centres re-open – stressing that now is not the time for large-scale clear-outs.
Commenting, Gail said:
“This is a difficult time for all of us, but we owe a huge thank you to those in the waste industry who are working to keep as many services running as possible.
“The safety of these workers and the general public has to be the priority, and councils also need to consider staffing shortages and physical distancing before our local recycling centres can re-open.
“While these workers do their best for us, it’s important that we continue to do what we can to help them by pitching in to crack down on illegal fly tippers in Caithness, Sutherland and Ross.
“Now more than ever, we also have to responsibility for managing our waste during this period – that means keeping larger items at home until the centres re-open.”
Iain Gulland, chief executive of Zero Waste Scotland, said:
“Refuse collectors are working in exceptional conditions to maintain as many essential services as they can.
“Now is a good time to avoid wasting so much as this is ultimately the best way to help councils cope.
“Zero Waste Scotland is working with key partners to communicate changes to householders and businesses in Scotland in the meantime.
“We’d encourage everyone to visit the campaign website to find out how they can best manage their waste.”