Visiting the Highlands and Islands? – leave no waste or action will be taken warns public partners

The Highland Council, SEPA and Police Scotland are taking a multi-agency enforcement approach to enforcing problems of fly-tipping and illegal disposal of campervan and caravan waste.

The agencies will follow up reports from witnesses and will consider issuing fixed penalty notices if sufficient evidence is available to identify offenders. Fixed penalty notices can be served on the person in control of a vehicle and - if served - are for £200.

Highlands and Islands Local Resilience Partnership members including Police Scotland, Scottish Fire & Rescue Service; Highland, Orkney and Shetland Councils, Scottish Water and SEPA met this week to discuss the increasing issue of irresponsible campervan and caravan waste disposal that has been affecting many locations in the Partnership area.

With the last weekend of the Scottish school holidays approaching - combined with a good weather forecast, the public partners are concerned about the Public Health and environmental impacts of human waste dumping.

Highland Council, SEPA and Police Scotland are urging people to dispose of their waste responsibly and ask anyone who witnesses fly-tipping and illegal disposal of campervan and caravan waste to report it by:

Alan Yates, Highland Council’s Environmental Health Manager said:

“We urge visitors to the region to enjoy their stay in our beautiful locations but to ‘leave no trace’. Sadly, a minority continue to take no responsibility for their own actions. In these cases, a fixed penalty notice (FPN) is used to give offenders the opportunity to discharge liability to conviction of the offence by paying the fixed penalty. If the offender chooses to reject the FPN or fails to pay in notice period then the matter can be referred to the courts and potential prosecution for the offender.”

Jennifer Shearer, Head of Enforcement at the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA) added:

“Every day SEPA works to protect and enhance Scotland’s environment and tackling illegal waste management activities is one of our major priorities. It is a criminal offence to illegally dispose of waste and the responsible parties, including the producer of the waste, could be subject to enforcement action. Everyone can help end the selfish, criminal dumping behaviours that blight our communities.”

Inspector Ali Garrow, Police Scotland said:

"Visitors to our wonderful Highland communities are welcome, but we urge everyone to take personal responsibility during their visit to ensure they leave no trace of their stay.

"We are working closely with our partner agencies to address concerns around anti-social behaviour and littering from camping and encourage anyone planning to visit to be aware of, and follow, the Scottish Outdoor Access Code.

"Where necessary, Police Scotland will work with the Highland Council and SEPA to tackle fly tipping and littering.

"If anyone sees fly tipping in their area, we would urge them to report it to the local authority as soon as possible, along with any descriptions of people or vehicles involved."

The Partners are working together to promote responsible camping; and Highland Council is carrying out a survey of private campsites across the region to establish where sites will allow non-residents to dispose of their waste and to top up their water supplies at a small fee.

Further information on litter and fly tipping legislation is at:

7 Aug 2020