New mobile CCTV cameras are being rolled out across West Lothian in a bid to target offenders who dump waste in the local area.

The cameras will be mounted at various known fly tipping hot spots and used to gather evidence to support prosecutions of anyone who dumps material on public land. Images will be recorded and will be checked on a regular basis.
News of the cameras follows the most recent reports into fly tipping in the region, where it was found even cemeteries had become a target for illegal dumping.
Sites will be prioritised based on the historical prevalence of fly tipping in that location with one of the first set to be the Birdsmill area which sits just off the A89 at the railway viaduct on the border between West Lothian and Edinburgh.
Executive councillor for environment Tom Conn joined operatives from the councils Cleaner Communities Team on a visit to the area to see the issue first hand.
Councillor Conn said: “It is clear to see that sadly there are those with no regard for our local environment who think that the dumping of waste is acceptable. Fly tipping and littering are both equally unacceptable and cannot be tolerated under any circumstance.
“These new cameras will be deployed in known areas of concern and will act both as a deterrent to those who are contemplating fly tipping and will help the evidence gathering process to help prosecute those who break the law.
“I was disappointed with the fly tipping dumped at Birdsmill, near Broxburn, which was a mixture of commercial builders’ rubble, and tyres which the Council doesn’t collect at our Community Recycling Centre sites.
“Businesses will be well aware of the options available to them to dispose of these items appropriately and their legal responsibility to do so. It was also disappointing to see a large amount of discarded soft drink cans and bottles which can be recycled in households’ green bins. We need to stop making excuses for those who desecrate our countryside and point the finger at those who make a fast buck, while council taxpayers then have to pay to clear up their mess.”
The council believes that the vast majority of fly tipping is commercial in nature, rather than caused by households. Often the type and volume of items left, such as large amounts of tyres, builders rubble and discarded bathrooms, would clearly appear to have been generated by business activities, although this is often impossible to prove conclusively.
Businesses are legally required to make their own arrangements to make sure any waste they produce is disposed of responsibly. The council’s community recycling centres are for households only, so do not accept any business waste.
A council spokesman said that if you are having work done in your house or if you are hiring a company to take waste away, households must make sure the company has a SEPA waste carrier licence – otherwise householders, as well as the company, could end up being fined if it is found to have been fly-tipped.
If you do have large items at home that need disposed of then there are plenty of options available to you when it comes to disposal. Visit the Don’t Waste West Lothian web page for more information on the local campaign to tackle fly tipping and waste disposal options available.
Fly tipping can be reported via an online form on the West Lothian Council website.

by Stuart Sommerville Local Democracy Reporting Service

Executive councillor for environment and sustainability Tom Conn, joined the Cleaner Communities Team on a site visit to Birdsmill ahead of new mobile CCTV cameras being deployed. Copyright West Lothian Council.
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