MP raises concerns of possible fly-tipping surge in Aberdeenshire over Christmas

Aberdeenshire Council insists a rise in fly-tipping is not linked to its decision to maintain a booking system at its household recycling centres.

Tuesday, 9th November 2021, 7:15 am
David Duguid MP claims the booking system is leading to more fly-tipping, but that's refuted by the council.

It follows concerns raised by Banff and Buchan MP David Duguid who fears a surge in fly-tipping over the Christmas period as a decision on the scrapping of the recycling centre booking system won’t be made until January.

Around 4000 residents completed a survey by the council on the systems in place at its household recycling centres. The data and comments are now being evaluated and a report will be presented to the council’s Infrastructure Services Committee in January.

But that’s not soon enough for Mr Duguid, who has written the council calling for bookings to be scrapped.

And he has expressed concerns that waiting until next year for a decision could lead to a further rise in fly-tipping over the festive season.

The Conservative MP said: “I’m extremely frustrated that officers are leaving it until January to present the findings of the consultation to councillors.

“We have already noticed a rise in fly-tipping across Aberdeenshire in recent months and I’m concerned leaving this system in place over Christmas will escalate incidents to uncontrollable levels.

“Residents now have to wait until January at the earliest for changes to be made – 18 months after the booking system was first introduced.

“There has been a reduction in footfall since then, and while I completely understood the need for it when it was introduced in June 2020, recycling centres should now be fully operational without any limitations.

“We must all play our part in supporting the environment and I would encourage everyone to use their recycling centres.”

Aberdeenshire Council’s waste services manager, Ros Baxter, responded: “I would strongly remind the public and businesses that fly-tipping is illegal and offenders will be prosecuted.

"Not only is it illegal, it is unsightly and, in some cases, poses a danger to the public and our waste teams who have to remove it.

“It’s important to note that fly-tipping is not linked to the booking system at our household recycling centres and we have seen figures rise and fall for many years.

"We also recently introduced a range of changes at our sites to make it even easier for people to recycle materials and deposit waste items so there is simply no excuse for not using these services.”

The booking system was initially brought in to protect staff and users during strict Covid-19 restrictions, but it has also resulted in improved traffic management and spread out the usage across the day and during the week so there are controlled numbers of vehicles onsite.

The council has also previously pointed out that while there had been a significant drop in footfall at recycling centres in the last year, the tonnage of waste and recycling coming through the sites has only reduced slightly, indicating customers were making fewer visits but with more material in each visit.

The recent review of household recycling centre systems, including the booking system and the limit system for vans and trailers, also looked at trade waste disposal options across Aberdeenshire.