Illegal tip site beside Perth shore remains a blind spot one year further on

Fly-tipping has reached farcical levels on the banks of the River Tay – one year on from a previous call for action.

The PA exposed the concerning waste tip on private land – not far from the King James VI Business Center down Friarton Road in Perth – in April 2021.

Back then, councilors called on the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA) to act.

Controlled waste materials have been haphazardly dumped next to the river, including builders rubble, refrigeration equipment, tires and hydraulic mechanisms, as well as domestic waste.

Lib Dem Perth City Center councilor Peter Barrett last year said: “The problems of fly-tipping on this site have gone on for too long, the issues have been regularly raised with SEPA and they need to act.

“Because the fly-tipping is on private land it is SEPA’s responsibility to enforce its removal.”

Cllr Barrett had added: “I have written to the Cabinet Secretary for the Environment, Climate Change and Land Reform asking her to intervene to get SEPA to act on this urgently.”

But nothing happened and the refuse dump now includes a burnt-out car wreck, more trashed white goods and a rotting double mattress. It appears worse than before.

Perth and Kinross Council explained, as the site is on private land, the responsibility to seek action lies with SEPA.

This was the same place, a stone’s throw from Perth City Center in 2021, littered with broken machinery, domestic and building waste

When asked last year – before Storm Arwen and several winter gales – what it planned to do, a spokesperson for SEPA said: “Fly-tipping is not only unsightly but, depending on the nature of the waste, it can also be hazardous to health and cause environmental damage.

“During 2020 we received several reports of fly-tipping close to Tayview Industrial Park in Perth. Investigations are ongoing and we are liaising with partner organisations. This is an important reminder to people that anyone taking their waste away should be authorized and able to provide a waste carrier registration and provide the name of the facility they will take the waste to – otherwise it could be dumped illegally.”

On being informed the unauthorized rubbish tip beside the River Tay remains and continues to grow, Cllr Barrett said yesterday: “It is very disappointing that SEPA have not provided the leadership to have this eyesore tackled. I suspect it all boils down to who will bear the cost with the site owner going bust. We hear a lot about a ‘can do’ and ‘say yes’ culture in the public sector but, a year on there is no evidence at all that SEPA have progressed this at all.”

This week, the PA again approached SEPA for comment. A spokesperson replied: “We are aware of fly-tipping close to Tayview Industrial Park in Perth and will follow up any reports of more waste being deposited at the site.

“Our investigation in this area remains ongoing, and we continue to liaise with the local authority and other partner organisations.

“Tackling waste crime is often very difficult due to a lack of evidence about those responsible. The best way is to stop criminals getting hands on waste in the first place.

“Everyone can help by refusing to engage with waste service providers who are not licensed by or registered with SEPA. Customers should ask for evidence the provider is a registered waste carrier and check their waste will be disposed of at a licensed site. Failing to make these checks are illegal.”

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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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