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Wednesday, April 24, 2024

Inquiries Ongoing to Trace Those Responsible for Fly-Tipping Tyres into Loch Ness

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Inquiries are ongoing to identify those responsible for dumping over 300 tyres from the side of the A82 into Loch Ness.

The incident was reported to Highland Council on Monday 29 January and is believed to have occurred sometime over the weekend between 27 and 28 January 2024.

The investigation is being led by the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA) and anyone with information is urged to contact them.

The difficulty in the recovery of the tyres dumped at Loch Ness

Highland Council would like to thank the Ness District Salmon Fishery Board and salmon farming company Mowi for their support after they volunteered to take part in a joint operation to remove all the tyres from the iconic loch.

The Council was initially approached by the Ness District Salmon Fishery Board who advised that staff from Mowi were willing to use their resources to access the shoreline.

Mowi staff worked alongside Highland Council operatives over a three-day period to clear the tyres.

It was a slow process due to inclement weather and the location of the tyres, some of which were halfway up the banks of Loch Ness.

Mowi was able to re-use 100 of the tyres as part of its operations and approximately 200 were left to Highland Council to dispose of.

The clean-up happened between 5 and 7 February.

Tyres on board a Mowi vessel during the clean-up at Loch Ness

Chairman of Highland Council’s Communities and Place Committee, Cllr Graham Mackenzie, said:

“The Council is extremely grateful for the support which ensured this horrendous incidence of fly-tipping was dealt with quickly.

“The location of the tyres made recovery problematic but was made possible thanks to some fantastic collaborative work between our staff, staff from Mowi, and members of the Ness Salmon Fishery Board.”

He added:

“It is very disappointing these tyres were recklessly disposed of in this manner without a thought for the environmental impact on one of Scotland’s most beautiful and popular tourist locations.

“Highland Council is already facing a significant budget gap and mindless acts like this only add to those financial pressures.

“Money spent on dealing with incidents like this only drain valuable resources needed to protect essential public services.”

Paul Griffiths, Unit Manager at SEPA, said:

“Waste crime has a serious and detrimental impact on our environment, communities and compliant businesses.

“Tyres in particular have the potential to release hazardous substances if set on fire and are a blight on the landscape if not treated, recycled or disposed of properly.

“A lack of evidence often makes catching the culprits extremely difficult, and the first line of defence is stopping criminals getting their hands on waste in the first place.

“A legitimate operator should be able to tell you their SEPA waste carrier licence number and the exact location your waste will be taken to.

“If they won’t provide those two pieces of information, don’t give them your waste.

“Our investigation into this incident at Loch Ness remains ongoing and we strongly urge anyone with information about who might be responsible to come forward.”

Fly-tipping is the illegal dumping of waste.

You can report litter using the report form on the Council’s website at www.highland.gov.uk/report

The Council can issue fines between £200 and £20,000 or the offender can receive six months in prison (up to five years if hazardous waste is dumped).

The Council urges anyone who witnesses fly-tipping to please report culprits to Police on 101 or phone Crimestoppers on 0800 555 111.

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