Scottish Environment Protection Agency (Sepa) issues dire warning about risk to life caused by fly-tipping south of Inverness
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Reckless fly-tippers have been warned that their actions near Inverness are "posing a danger" not just to the environment but also to lives.
The Scottish Environment Protection Agency (Sepa) issued the dire warning after communities to the south of Inverness experienced cases of fly-tipping.
One of the most recent involved tipping at the old Moy quarry, with one upset walker describing an oily substance on the surface of a small lochan at the site, as well as piles or rubbish elsewhere.
Sepa has appealed for anyone with information to get in touch, and warned dumb dumpers that they can face fines of up to £40,000 for their reckless behaviour.
“Sepa is investigating following reports of possible fly-tipping at the Old Moy Quarry and an oily substance on the surface of a lochan at the site," said a spokesman.
“Fly-tipping is a serious offence, posing a danger to communities, the environment and legitimate waste operators. Those caught can face significant consequences and risk a fine of up to £40,000.
“Anyone who is concerned about a potential pollution incident can report this via www.sepa.org.uk/report.”
Inverness South councillor Carolyn Caddick, whose ward covers Moy in Strathnairn, has urged the public to do what they can to keep the environment clean.
She said that although incidents in the Highlands appeared to have fallen slightly from their lockdown highs, clearing fly-tipping was still a priority issue for the council because "if you you have it and don't clear it – rubbish begets rubbish, as it were".
The councillor added that many incidents of fly-tipping were not the result of individuals, but scammers offering to remove people's unwanted waste on the cheap.
And she stressed those tempted to take up such offers that the council pro-actively checked through dumped waste to figure out where it might have come from, and that those found to have produced the waste would be tackled accordingly.
She added the council already had enough Covid-19 pressures on its plate without also having to deal with littering and urged the public to leave areas as they found them because "every little helps".