MSP Alex Rowley has called the illegal tip at Lathalmond an “environmental calamity” after meeting with SEPA officials to discuss the site.

The 30-feet high rubbish dump has been an eyesore for years and it could cost £1 million for the clean-up – with no clear idea about who will pick up the tab.

Mr Rowley met with the Scottish Environment Protection Agency on Friday and said: “SEPA continue to look at the legal options available to them to force action but I have to say after years of being told we had to wait on the legal process completing and the prosecution of the company directors who operated the site before action could be taken, I am not filled with confidence that another drawn out legal process will work.

“I accept the point that the tax payer should not have to pick up the bill but I have asked for more work to be done on all the options available. I am also asking what is the weakness in the law that has allowed this to happen so that it can be addressed through legislation if necessary.

“SEPA have confirmed that they are working with Fife Council and are focussing on the ownership of the commerce park. They have further agreed to look at the options for recycling the materials on the site as the greatest cost of any clean up would be the landfill taxes that would be incurred.

“I have been speaking with a company who specialise in recycling and we now need to establish what can be recycled. SEPA have agreed to examine this further and deal direct with this and any other specialist company to establish the options and we will meet again in six weeks to review those options.”

Ian Buchanan, head of environmental performance from SEPA, said: “Friday’s meeting with Alex Rowley MSP was an important opportunity to discuss the ongoing efforts to bring about the clearance of waste material at the M90 Commerce Park and provide valuable insight into the specific concerns from local communities in the area.

“We welcome his support to proactively engage with the site’s landowners and will provide assistance to any firms interested in recycling waste on site with relevant environmental advice and guidance.

"We are fully committed to working alongside Fife Council to secure removal of the waste and will provide a further face-to-face update on SEPA’s regulatory work over the coming months.

“As always we will continue to monitor the Lathalmond site for any current or emerging environmental impacts, which at present remain low.”

The site at the entrance to the Lathalmond M90 Commerce Park was operated by First Option Services, who specialised in recycling materials including carpets, plastics and plasterboard until the business ceased trading in June 2012.

The two men in charge of the company, Michael Hope and James Winters, received community payback orders at Dunfermline Sheriff Court in June 2016 after admitting keeping controlled waste – approximately 3,500 tonnes of waste carpet and 3,500 tonnes of waste plasterboard – in a manner likely to cause pollution of the environment or harm to human health.

Mr Rowley added: “I have also asked SEPA to make available the environmental and pollution studies they have carried out on the site and I am attempting to make direct contact with the owners.

“Fife Council have said officers have again surveyed Lathalmond, including checking monitoring boxes, and have confirmed there is no evidence of vermin activity. I am asking them to provide more detail of the survey so that the risk of vermin can be accurately assessed.”

Team manager Dawn Jamieson confirmed that the council’s pest control team have checked the site using test bait around the perimeter and entrance and there is no evidence of vermin in the area.