National litter and flytipping strategy: consultation analysis

Analysis report of responses to our consultation on a new national litter and flytipping strategy.

4. Findings: Flytipping

4.1 Flytipping – behaviour change

4.1.1 Understanding behaviours that lead to flytipping

Respondents were first asked:

Do you support proposed Action 8.1, to conduct research to understand the behaviour that leads to flytipping?

Of the 978 respondents, 950 (97%) responded to this question, as set out below.

Figure 20 Support to conduct research to understand the behaviour that leads to flytipping

Almost two thirds (65%) of respondents support the proposed Action 8.1. This is supported by around five in six organisations, including all local authorities.

Of those who support the proposed Action, 324 provide further comment. The majority say it is important to understand the behaviour behind flytipping as this will inform appropriate actions and sanctions that can be implemented.

Some comment that potential reasons could be financial, criminal, or psychological, and that further research is needed to understand the behaviour of perpetrators.

We support research to understand behaviour that leads to flytipping and would also recommend looking at cases of domestic or individual flytipping separately to ‘commercial’ flytipping. Flytipping is likely to occur on a much less frequent basis per individual than littering, and motivations often differ. Commercial flytipping is a very different issue, in the sense that acts are largely driven by economic savings through disposal fee avoidance or making commercial profit. – Voluntary, charity, community organisation

Of those who do not support this Action, 240 provide further comments. The majority argue that research is not needed as they believe the reasons for flytipping are already well-known. Motivations for flytipping cited include cost-saving to avoid paying for waste disposal, laziness, waste disposal centres being far away/inaccessible, and a perceived lack of enforcement to act as a sufficient deterrent.

We don’t need to fully understand the reasons - most sane people will know this without spending money to find out the obvious - just make the penalties and the enforcement of those penalties effective. – Individual

4.1.2 Shared approach to flytipping prevention and behaviour change

Respondents were then asked:

Do you agree with the proposed actions to:

Action 9.1: Develop a sustained, evidence based, national anti-flytipping behaviour change campaign?

Action 9.2: Create a single information point containing advice on disposal of commonly flytipped materials?

Of the 978 respondents, 950 responded to Action 9.1 and 944 to Action 9.2 (approx. 97%), as set out in the two charts below.

Figure 21 Support to develop a national anti-flytipping behaviour change campaign
Figure 22 Support to create a single information point

Over three quarters (78%) agree with the proposed Action 9.1. Over five in six (85%) organisations agree, including all local authorities. Around four in five (81%) agree with Action 9.2.

Of the 305 respondents who support both proposed Actions 9.1 and 9.2 and who provide further comment, the majority believe that these actions would help educate people. Many of the public do not know or understand how to properly dispose of waste, what materials can be disposed, where, and at what costs.

Some respondents note that information ought to be tailored to a specific area or region as there can be important differences that need to be acknowledged and included in any campaign.

Many comment that deterrents such as high monetary fines or community work are needed, and that more affordable and accessible waste disposal options would help.

Why waste taxpayers’ money to target a tiny minority. Rather than an information point, create a place where everyone can freely get rid of waste locally, stop local councils charging the public to collect or dispose of waste. – Individual

There are 47 respondents who do not support either proposed Action. Of these that comment, the majority believe that sufficient evidence and information are already available, and that direct actions and enforcement is required instead. The proposed Actions are lengthy and costly processes that will not reveal any new evidence. Many cite the cost of waste removal as the main problem and argue that waste disposal should be cheaper or free.

Of the 16 respondents who answer “Do not know” and who provide comments, most are not convinced that developing a national campaign and creating a single information point would have any meaningful impact. These proposals are too costly with limited or no impact, and suggest enforcing existing laws or making waste disposal more accessible.

Respondents were asked for their views on:

Which topics should be a priority to address by behaviour change interventions?

Of the 978 respondents, 561 (57%) responded to this question.

Most comment that relevant information shared in effective ways should be a priority. Priority topics to address through behaviour change interventions suggested by respondents include the following.

  • Showing the damage that flytipping can cause to the natural environment, including animals, wildlife, and landscapes.
  • Details of access to and local availability of waste disposal centres and the associated costs.
  • Outlining individuals’ and companies’ responsibilities relating to flytipping.
  • Messages to raise awareness of flytipping being illegal and antisocial.
  • Information on fines.
  • Guidance on how to report flytipping.

Some say that education and raising awareness of flytipping during early years are key and would lead to a decrease. Others think that understanding the behaviour of those who flytip is the first step in behaviour change interventions.

Perhaps more road signs describing the penalties already in place (should the perpetrators be found) would be helpful and hopefully deter litter louts. – Individual

Publicised information on the legal methods of disposal and on the penalties for using illegal methods. Reduce the cost of legal methods so that the flytipping “professionals” will not think the job is worth doing. – Individual

The consultation also asked respondents:

What information should be included in a single information point?

There were 438 substantive answers to this question (45% of all respondents). Aligned to responses to the previous question, the majority believe similar items of information should be included in a single information point, with the following items suggested most often.

  • Guidance on how to dispose of waste safely and legally.
  • Details on locations of and access to local disposal centres and the associated costs.
  • Information on the negative impacts of flytipping to the environment and wildlife.
  • Consequences of getting caught, such as current fines and sanctions.
  • Awareness of what is most commonly flytipped and what materials can be recycled, reused, and disposed.
  • Education on the benefits of legal waste disposal, for example environment protection and cost saving.
  • Guidance on how to report flytipping.

There were no notable differences between answers provided by individuals and organisations.

The location of refuse sites across Scotland. Perhaps a postcode entry box which identifies the places closest to the individual. What can and cannot be disposed of there, what to do with bulky items, batteries, what has specific disposal sites (oil etc). How to reach people without readily accessible internet access should also be considered – leaflets, posters that can be displayed etcetera. – Voluntary, charity, community organisation

We agree a single information point should bring together guidance and advice on reusing, recycling, and disposing of waste. This will help Scottish citizens understand their responsibilities with the aim of eradicating flytipping in its entirety. We also believe that the principles of messages could be similar to those of other nations across the UK – this could support a wider cause and help eradicate flytipping across the UK. – Stakeholder (e.g. trade association, federation)

4.1.3 Developing a standard definition of flytipping

The consultation next asked respondents:

Is there a need to develop a definition of flytipping that can be adopted across Scotland?

Of the 978 respondents, 936 (96%) responded to this question, as set out below.

Figure 23 Support to develop a definition of flytipping

Just over half (54%) of respondents agree with this, while just under a third (30%) disagree. Over three quarters (79%) of organisations support the development of a definition, including all stakeholders and most local authorities.

There are 243 respondents who believe a definition of flytipping needs developing and who provide further comment. Most say that a definition is needed to provide a consistent understanding at a national level. Many highlight that people can sometimes flytip without necessarily being aware they are doing so, and that clarity is therefore required as to what exactly is considered to be flytipping to reduce occurrences.

Some mention that the existing definition is out of date and needs to be updated to align with materials in current wide usage including technology developments.

Of 206 respondents who comment and who do not support the development of definition, most either believe that a definition already exists, or is self-explanatory and/or widely known. Many think that the time and resources spent on developing a definition could be used in a better way, for example implementing existing (or developing new) measures to reduce/sanction flytipping.

We all know what it means and offenders who dump commercial/trade waste mostly do so in unmarked vehicles outside the areas that they themselves reside in - we don't need new definitions, just new solutions. – Individual

Some respondents comment that developing a definition of flytipping might encourage people to argue around it and find ways to avoid fines.

Of the 48 respondents who comment and answer “Do not know”, most hold similar views to those against developing a definition, namely that a definition is obvious, well known to the public, or already in existence. Others are unsure of the need for a definition, and whether one is already in use.

4.2 Flytipping – services and infrastructure

4.2.1 Understanding sources, amount, and composition of flytipping

Respondents were asked:

Do you support the proposed Actions to:

Action 10.1: Create a data sharing agreement to support gathering of data and work with stakeholders to improve consistency of data collection?

Action 10.2: Explore incorporating data into a national database?

Action 10.3: Review the Dumb Dumpers system and ensure a fit for purpose mechanism for citizen reporting of flytipping exists in Scotland?

Action 10.4: Explore the development of a live picture of flytipping across Scotland?

Across the four actions, 939, 930, 937, and 933 respondents answered these questions respectively (approx. 96% of all respondents), as set out below.

Figure 24 Support to create a data sharing agreement
Figure 25 Support to explore incorporating data into a national database
Figure 26 Support to review the Dumb Dumpers system
Figure 27 Support to explore the development of a live picture of flytipping

Over two thirds (69%) of respondents support Action 10.1. This is supported by over five in six (86%) organisations including all local authorities. Action 10.2 is supported by seven in ten (70%) respondents, including over five in six (86%) organisations, and all stakeholders. Over five in six (86%) respondents support Action 10.3, with almost all (94%) organisations. Just over three quarters (77%) support Action 10.4 with similar levels of support across individuals and organisations.

Of the 262 respondents who support all listed actions and who comment, the majority suggest that anything that can be done to prevent flytipping is a good thing. The majority believe that a national database is the only way to ensure dumpers who cross council boundaries can be dealt with.

Much more needs to be done to catch offenders on camera. CCTV should be permitted evidence to catch flytippers in the act. There should be a focus on hot spots and then a national marketing campaign stating that there is an increased programme of activities to catch flytippers and issue large fines. – Voluntary, charity, community organisation

Some respondents are keen to see a visual representation of the scale of flytipping across Scotland.

A small number note that reporting flytipping appears to have little or no effect. This group believe the public needs to see that action is taken and that prosecution occurs, so that reporting is seen as worthwhile.

A minority suggest that flytipping incidents on private land are largely under-reported and believe that these Actions would help alleviate this issue.

Respondents who disagree with the proposed Actions and gave comment typically suggest that money spent on these Actions would be better spent enforcing current flytipping laws. Others say that a better solution would be to have more waste disposal sites/recycling centres which are easier to access. Several argue that these proposed Actions may create additional bureaucracy to what should be a simple process.

Several of those commenting indicate they have no prior knowledge of the Dumb Dumpers initiative and suggest more marketing and awareness is required. Organisations appear to have greater awareness of this initiative, although several believe it to be ineffective, citing overly long response times, or difficulty in reaching key points of contact.

I hadn't heard of Dumb Dumpers before I read the consultation paper so I think part of its review should include looking at its promotion and communications angle. – Individual

Those that answer “Do not know” and provide comment are uncertain how these Actions might help to tackle flytipping. This group believe these Actions are not clearly aligned to the core issues, which they perceive to be a lack of enforcement and officers, rather than data collection.

The consultation then asked:

Do you support mandatory reporting of flytipping incidents for statutory bodies?

A total of 940 of 978 respondents (96%) answered this question, as shown below.

Figure 28 Support for the mandatory reporting of flytipping incidents by statutory bodies

Around four in five (79%) respondents support mandatory reporting, including all statutory, public, or government-funded bodies.

Of the 271 respondents who support this proposal and provide a follow up answer, the majority believe that flytipping should be reported as it is a crime. Some of this group are surprised that reporting is not already mandatory for these bodies.

A minority of those in support (around one in five) say that mandatory reporting will help to collate data and identify flytipping hotspots, to enable better allocation of resources. Other respondents indicate that there are cases where a “blind eye” is turned when reporting is not mandatory.

Without this, we don’t know how many incidents there are - so we can’t know if an intervention is reducing them. The reporting system needs to be quick and simple, though, to encourage compliance. How about a flytipping app that can get GPS etc. from the phone of the person reporting? – Individual

There are concerns among organisations that statutory bodies would require additional funding to undertake this action and implement change. Some also suggest that reporting mechanisms need to be made easier if reporting is to be mandatory.

Of the 27 respondents who do not support this proposal and give additional comment, some suggest that mandatory reporting would be difficult to enforce. Others indicate that it would cost money that could be better spent elsewhere. A minority suggest this proposal seems overly authoritarian.

The cost of this can be better used to create more waste/recycling management sites and abolishing the need to obtain permits to use these sites, and to remove restrictions on how often they can be visited and used by an individual/vehicle. – Individual

Some 61 respondents answer “Do not know” and provide comment. This group typically state they are unsure what statutory bodies are being referred to. Others are uncertain to whom reports would be sent and what the data would be used for. Organisations that answered “Do not know” were more likely to ask for more information on how data would be handled.

The consultation next asked respondents:

Do you think we should continue to use Dumb Dumpers as the national reporting tool?

Of the 978 respondents, 933 (95%) answered this question, as set out below:

Figure 29 Support for the continued use of Dumb Dumpers

Three in ten (30%) respondents support the tool’s continued use, while over half (57%) are uncertain. Organisations are divided in their opinion, with a third (33%) agreeing and a quarter (23%) disagreeing – others (44%) are unsure.

Of the 126 respondents that support this proposal and give additional comment, most state they are actually unaware of the Dumb Dumpers initiative. This group therefore suggest that the tool requires greater visibility and promotion so that people can report flytipping correctly. Other respondents suggest that if a tool is in place there is no reason to create a new one.

I've never heard of it before so it's clearly not a very useful tool. – Individual

A small number think the name should be changed to replace the work “Dumb”. Others suggest the name is appropriate because it might shame people into not dumping waste.

Organisations that agree with the proposal state they are aware of other platforms and tools for reporting. They believe that a unified platform would be most effective.

Not in its current form or under its current name. It does not integrate with Local Authority asset management systems and duplicates work. – Local authority

Of the 99 respondents commenting who do not support the proposal, the majority either perceive the initiative to be unsuccessful, or are unaware of it. This group suggest that a rebrand might help, with a small number suggesting that the name be changed.

Of the 262 respondents indicating they “Do not know” and who comment, the majority say they have not heard of Dumb Dumpers. A small number are aware, but are uncertain the scheme is successful.

The consultation asked for respondents’ views on:

What are barriers to reporting flytipping incidents that occur on private land?

Of the 978 total respondents, 583 (60%) answered this question.

The majority perceive the largest barrier to reporting flytipping on private land is that the council is unwilling or unable to act. Respondents suggest there is no easy way for members of the public to contact landowners, or find out who they may be.

Similarly, there is concern around a lack of clarity on where reports should be made by landowners who only want to contribute to national data. This group relate how they have been previously informed that Dumb Dumpers is only for those who need assistance removing waste.

It's possible for members of the public to report flytipping on private land at the moment, via local authority websites or Dumb Dumpers (most of us don't know who land belongs to when reporting it). But there's no follow-up to let people know what action has been taken, which could discourage people from reporting again in future. – Voluntary, charity, community organisation

Some respondents indicate that private landowners are reluctant to report flytipping because the landowner then becomes liable for the cost of removal. Without help from government, respondents believe there is little point in reporting flytipping on private land.

A small minority (around ten) suggest that reporting flytipping on private land is easy, and believe there are no barriers. On the other hand, another minority of those commenting believe barriers to exist, but are uncertain what these are.

Other points raised include the following.

  • A small number (all individual respondents) have fears of reprisal from flytippers, should they report any incident.
  • Organisations note how it can often be difficult to identify owners of private land and that, without the ability to do so, there is no true understanding of who is responsible.

Respondents were also asked for their thoughts on:

Who would you report flytipping to?

Of the 978 consultation respondents, 706 (72%) answered this question.

Just under half indicate that they would report flytipping to their local authority in the first instance.

A large minority (over 100, equivalent to around one in six answering this question) say they would report flytipping to the police. A small number say they would report such incidents to their local environment office or to SEPA. The Dumb Dumpers tool was mentioned by 27 respondents.

A small number say they do not know to whom they should report flytipping.

4.2.2 Waste services and infrastructure

The consultation went on to ask:

Do you agree with the proposed actions to:

Action 11.1: Support and encourage information and resource sharing between stakeholders?

Action 11.2: Explore how to support and encourage more reuse and repair of products that are commonly flytipped?

Action 11.3: Explore a flexible approach to waste disposal with a view to trial interventions?

Across the three Actions, 922, 929, and 918 respondents answered these questions, respectively (approx. 92% of all respondents), as set out below:

Figure 30 Support for information and resource sharing between stakeholders
Figure 31 Support for the reuse and repair of commonly flytipped products
Figure 32 Support to explore a flexible approach to waste disposal

Four in five (80%) respondents agree with Action 11.1 This is supported by over nine in ten (92%) organisations including all local authorities and all statutory, public, or government-funded bodies. Over five in six (86%) support Action 11.2 including most organisations (95%). Action 11.3 is supported by four in five (80%) respondents.

Of the 262 respondents that agree with all three Actions and who provide comment, the majority say these are good, sensible ideas that will effectively address the issue of flytipping. Many indicate they fully support re-use, recycling, or upcycling of products.

These proposed actions are commendable but should not cause any hold-up to immediate action. These actions could be conducted as the programme unfolds and experience is gained. – Individual

Some suggest that greater responsibility should be laid at the feet of manufacturers and retailers when products do not last or are, by design, too expensive or difficult to repair.

At some point, retailers have to be taken to task for selling some of the rubbish that ends up dumped - cheap toys, whitegoods that last a year and are not repairable as they are designed not to be e.g., washing machines with solid drums which cannot be split to allow motor or bearing replacement. – Individual

A small number believe that, because vans are either restricted in the number of visits it can make to a HWRC or are made to pay to visit, flytipping is “encouraged”. Some suggest that the people who dispose of rubbish illegally due to these barriers should be assisted to do so legally.

Of the small number commenting who do not support any of these Actions, most perceive these Actions to be a waste of resources. A minority disagree with the specific wording of the Action (“exploration” and “reviewing”) and argue that more concrete action is required.

Those who “Do not know” and who provide comment suggest that the proposed Actions are insufficient and require building further upon.

Respondents were next asked:

How can we support and encourage sharing of data and joining up of services between local authorities, the waste sector, SEPA and other organisations?

Comments were received from 487 respondents (50% of all respondents).

Respondents most commonly suggest that establishing a national, central database would be the best solution (noted by around one in four). Respondents suggest that any database should be managed by a single group, with data being received regularly from multiple sources, to create a streamlined process. Alongside this, respondents note that communication is key to success.

Data sharing is essential to understand best practice as well as the worst problems. There should be by now an appreciation of which agencies are getting it right in terms of effort as well as trends. This needs to be publicly shared, let alone inter-agency. – Individual

Others believe that identifying best practice and/or the best reporting tool currently in use, and encouraging their wider roll-out, would increase efficiency and effectiveness of resources. Some query whether sharing data should be made mandatory to encourage a culture of cross-organisation collaboration.

Local authorities suggest that regular forums with a dedicated chair with responsibility to allocate resources nationwide, will help support data sharing and joining up of services. These organisations support a central database but request greater clarity around roles and responsibilities of all those involved.

There needs to be a clear definition of the responsibilities of the respective agencies with respect to the investigation and enforcement of flytipping. At present, roles are not clearly defined and issues around agreement on which agency should be responsible for any given incident, leading to confusion, miscommunication, delays and at times, a lack of action. Information sharing could be facilitated through the creation of a national database as per Action 10.2, or perhaps the national information ‘hub’. – Local authority

A small number of individuals suggest that an advertising or awareness campaign would help to ensure the public know how and where to report flytipping.

Respondents were then asked:

Please provide examples of interventions (for example, amnesties or recycling groups) that have or have not work well?

A total of 382 respondents answered this question (39% of all respondents).

Many individual respondents mention local or community litter picking groups as successful interventions.

Several respondents, particularly organisations, state that past initiatives of offering temporary recycling centres/waste sites in car parks for public use has not worked, as it led to an expectation of being able to leave waste at any time.

Local community groups work well. The annual Spring Clean campaign, involving school children and groups like Scouts and Guides get children involved early and they will carry some of that through the rest of their lives. – Individual

Some individuals note that skip amnesties can work well, although local authorities say that providing free skips incurs a cost for them, and had led to further complaints or increased expectations from residents.

Amnesties - skips have been provided free of charge to landowners who have been victims of flytipping, and they have had the opportunity to clean up their land with only the cost of labour to be met by the landowner but resourcing these sorts of project does require extra funding. – Local authority

One organisation response says that they were informed by police experts that flytipping is often part of serious organised crime activity and therefore amnesties will not impact the main culprits of flytipping.

Respondents were asked for their views on:

What are the barriers to disposing of asbestos?

Comments were received from 499 respondents (51% of all respondents).

The barrier cited most commonly is the cost of disposal. Locating somewhere to dispose of asbestos in a safe and responsible manner is the second most common barrier noted. The next barrier most commonly mentioned is the danger to health upon removal of asbestos. Most respondents indicate these problems are linked.

Other barriers, each raised by a small number of respondents include education so that people can identify asbestos and are aware of the dangers, and training individuals to be able to deal with asbestos.

4.2.3 Support for private landowners and land managers

The consultation asked respondents:

Do you agree with the proposed actions to:

Action 12.1: Explore the role of technology in assisting private landowners and land managers to deter flytipping on their land?

Action 12.2: Produce updated guidance for private landowners on dealing with flytipping?

Action 12.3: Explore alternative financial support mechanisms available to private landowners and land managers?

For these proposed Actions, 922, 919, and 914 respondents, respectively (approx. 94% of all respondents), answered these questions, as set out below.

Figure 33 Support to explore the role of technology in assisting private landowners deter flytipping
Figure 34 Support to produce updated guidance for private landowners
Figure 35 Support to explore alternative financial support mechanisms for private landowners

Four in five (81%) respondents agree with Action 12.1. This is supported by nine in ten (90%) organisations, including all statutory, public, or government-funded bodies. Just over four fifths (86%) support Action 12.2, including all local authorities and most organisations. Around three quarters (74%) support Action 12.3, including just over four in five (82%) organisations.

Of those who support all three Actions, 258 give additional comment. The majority feel that landowners are innocent victims of a flytipping crime and should not have to suffer financial consequence arising from flytipping on their land.

Some believe that the use of CCTV and motion-detection cameras might act as suitable deterrents and lead to increased prosecution of flytippers.

Often flytipping occurs where there is no CCTV, so supporting mobile / remote surveillance would help. – Individual

Others suggest that landowners require guidance on dealing with flytipping, including how to remove waste material and what legal action can be taken against the flytippers. In this regard, there are mixed views on what financial support assist landowners, with suggestions ranging across the following points.

  • Making council-run waste disposal sites free to reduce the number of flytipping incidents.
  • Removal of waste material from private land by councils at no cost to landowners.
  • Provision of funding to landowners to assist with installation of technology and/or removal of waste.
  • Landowners offered a percentage of any fine resulting from prosecutions.

Others suggest that more focus ought to be placed on prosecuting flytippers to act as a deterrent.

Flytipping won’t stop until those responsible know they are likely to be caught and punished. Technology can be useful in identifying those responsible. It is deeply unfair that landowners have to bear the cost of a crime perpetrated against them. – Individual

Among the small number who comment and who do not support any of three proposed Actions, most suggest that landowners should dispose of waste on their land themselves, irrespective of how it got there.

Of the minority who answer “Do not know” and who provide comment, the vast majority indicate they are insufficiently informed to answer.

Respondents were asked for their views on:

What support mechanisms need to be in place to help private landowners that are victims of flytipping?

A total of 551 respondents answered this question (56% of all respondents).

Around half explicitly state that private landowners should be given assistance to remove waste and that local councils should provide that service promptly and at no cost to the landowner. Respondents believe it is unfair that landowners should bear the cost.

Other commonly suggested support mechanisms for landowners include:

  • practical assistance to install CCTV to deter flytippers, with funding available to help cover the costs,
  • financial support to assist with the disposal of flytipping waste, and
  • greater levels of enforcement and prosecution to act as a deterrent.

A small proportion of respondents say that published guidance should outline how to deal with flytipping waste and how to report the crime.

We need to recognise that this is an unwanted burden on an innocent victim who then has to dispose at their own cost something that should be funded nationally. – Individual

There needs to be adequate resource available for the investigation and enforcement of flytipping on private land to identify and deal with those responsible. Financial support or better options for removing and disposing of flytipped waste on their land could help. Assistance with funding to install preventative measures. – Local authority

4.3 Flytipping – enforcement

4.3.1 Enforcement model

Respondents were asked:

Do you support the proposed actions to:

Action 13.1: Conduct an evidence review of barriers to enforcement of flytipping offences?

Action 13.2: Initially raise current fixed penalties issued by local authorities, Police Scotland, Loch Lomond and Trossachs National Park for flytipping to the maximum (£500) and explore possibility of raising the maximum at a later date.

Action 13.3: Explore the possibility and benefits of enabling local authorities and national parks to use civil penalties to enforce flytipping offences?

Action 13.4: Explore raising current fixed monetary penalties that can be issued by SEPA for flytipping offences to the maximum (£1,000) and explore the possibility of raising the maximum further at a later date?

Action 13.6: Review existing legislative powers for enforcing flytipping offences?

For these proposed Actions, 917, 925, 918, 914 and 915 respondents, respectively (approx. 94% of all respondents), answered these questions, as set out below.

Figure 36 Support to conduct an evidence review of barriers to enforcement of flytipping offences
Figure 37 Support to raise current fixed penalties that can be issued by local authorities, Police Scotland, Loch Lomond and Trossachs National Park
Figure 38 Support to explore the possibility and benefits of enabling local authorities and national parks to use civil penalties to enforce flytipping offences
Figure 39 Explore raising current fixed monetary penalties that can be issued by SEPA
Figure 40 Support to review existing legislative powers for enforcing flytipping offences

Each of the five Actions is supported by over four in five respondents, with agreement levels highest for Action 13.6. There are slightly higher levels of agreement among organisations than individuals for all Actions. All statutory, public, or government-funded bodies agree with all Actions.

Of the 328 respondents who support all Actions and who provide comment, the majority say that enforcement actions need to serve as deterrent for flytipping. Many perceive the current sanctions/monetary fines to be too small, and that fines should larger and potentially scalable to flytippers’ profile (e.g. business, homeowner, repeated flytipper etc.).

We need to make the crime match the impact. Large scale issues should receive higher community penalties or fines. Educational and financial remedies could support funding new initiatives. – Stakeholder (e.g. trade association, federation)

Some respondents advocate for stricter sanctions, including adding points to a person’s driving record or removal of the vehicle used for flytipping. A small number suggest imprisonment.

Those who do not support the proposed Actions and who comment further, predominantly cite the perceived need for, and importance of, having more waste disposal facilities with affordable access. Some believe that fines are irrelevant if they are not going to be implemented and flytippers caught and sanctioned. Several claim that the proposed Actions are an unnecessary use of time and money that could be better used to implement existing laws or encouraging people to use waste disposal centres.

Reduce restrictions on access to recycling centres and do not reduce the frequency of bin collections. These will see the problem reduce considerably. – Individual

Respondents who answer “Do not know” and provide comment mainly focus on the issue of identifying flytippers, and raise concerns over the relevance of penalties if they cannot be implemented.

4.3.2 Consistency

The consultation then asked respondents:

Do you support the proposed actions to:

Action 14.1: Come to an agreement and develop guidance on roles and responsibilities of organisations in enforcing flytipping offences?

Action 14.2: Develop guidance on enforcement best practices, including on private land and seek for this to be voluntarily adopted by statutory bodies?

A total of 912 respondents (93%) provided answer to each question, as set out below.

Figure 41 Support to agree and develop guidance for organisations to enforce flytipping offences
Figure 42 Support to develop guidance on enforcement best practices

Over five in six (86%) respondents support Action 14.1, including almost all (95%) organisations. Around three quarters (76%) support Action 14.2, including just under nine in ten (88%) organisations.

The majority of respondents who support both Actions and who provide comment would welcome further guidance on roles, responsibilities and best practices relating to enforcement – this is commonly noted by stakeholders, local authorities, and statutory, public or government-funded bodies. A national approach will help ensure consistency and a shared understanding. Many advocate for best practice development to be adopted by statutory bodies on a mandatory basis.

At present, there is confusion between agencies as to who is responsible for particular flytipping incidents, leading to missed opportunities, delays and ultimately a lack of enforcement. The roles of the respective agencies in investigating and enforcing flytipping incidents needs to be clearly defined to prevent shifting responsibility. – Local authority

Several highlight a need for these Actions to be taken urgently and for resources to be used effectively to tackle flytipping.

Of those who do not support either Action and who provide comments, around half believe that such guidance already exists and simply needs to be enforced. The other half believe that penalties are the only way to tackle flytipping issues, and to sanction offenders. Some comment that flytipping might significantly decrease if waste disposal was more affordable.

Far too insipid an approach. Prosecution is the only real way to change behaviours - use of seatbelts is an example where penalties succeeded. Making it optional will add unnecessary time to process. – Individual

Those who answer “Do not know” and provide comment either query whether guidance already exists and/or needs developing, or instead state that taking action is more important than developing guidance.



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