A move to more than double fines for fly-tipping has been dubbed an “important step” after it kicked in earlier this month.
The penalty imposed on illegal dumpers who are caught in the act has been increased from £200 to £500 by the Scottish Government.
The change, which took effect from January 1 as a result of a national strategy, has been welcomed by an SNP politician in Renfrewshire.
Councillor Stephen Burns, who represents Paisley Southwest, hopes the hike will deter perpetrators from carrying out the irresponsible behaviour.
He commended the work of the environmental task force, which made 2,258 proactive visits to hotspots between December 1, 2022 and November 30, 2023.
During that period, the bespoke squad removed 436 tonnes of fly-tipping in the area, secured 11 sites to prevent more incidents and issued 93 fixed penalty notices.
However, just weeks after more than a dozen fridge freezers were dumped near Gleniffer Braes, Councillor Burns conceded illegal dumping is still a significant issue in Renfrewshire.
The depute convener for the infrastructure, land and environment policy board said: “I’m delighted to see the increase in the fine for fly-tipping has now come into effect.
“Illegal dumping is a scourge on our environment and remains a big problem in our communities.
“The environmental task force has done a lot of good work but there is only so much the team can do. Unfortunately it is still a continuous problem in the area.
“I am forever reporting instances of fly-tipping to the council. Perpetrators will go out in the middle of the night to dump stuff to try to escape attention.
“We can’t have CCTV in every corner of the local authority, so it can be difficult to find those responsible, but when they are caught it’s good news that they will now be facing fines of £500.
“This is an important step in the fight against fly-tipping.”
Speaking about the rise last year, circular economy minister Lorna Slater said the Scottish Government “makes no apologies for taking bold action” on fly-tipping, which she described as a “blight” on Scotland’s streets, communities and countryside.
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