GET rid of your rubbish responsibly at Christmas – or risk a £200 fine.

There's a festive carrot and stick message from Fife Council who are trying to make it easier for residents to dispose of wrapping paper and gift packaging by keeping recycling centres open for longer.

But they've warned that the penalty for fly-tipping starts at £200, it can increase to £40,000 for major offenders, and staff will soon be wearing body cameras and using Automatic Number Plate Recognition (ANPR) to stop misuse.

They've also identified 27 'hotspots' where waste is left outside of bins and fly-tipping occurs frequently, such as the recycling points at the Tesco store in Duloch and the Asda store at Dalgety Bay, which will be checked more often by staff.

Councillor Ross Vettraino, convener of the environment, protective services and community safety committee, said: "Unfortunately, an issue, particularly at this time of year, is the misuse of recycling centres and points.

"Christmas is a busy time and we all know that it can be hard to find time to carry out certain tasks but everyone is responsible for their own waste and must dispose of their rubbish responsibly, either in their kerbside bins or at a recycling point or centre.

“Previously, there has been illegal dumping at the gates of recycling centres after the second day of public holiday festive closures.

"In addition to taking action to ensure that the sites are kept clear, the council will adopt a ‘zero tolerance’ approach to any such illegal activity and will take steps to identify those doing so.”

The council said more rubbish was generated at Christmas than any other time of the year and steps were being taken to ensure their 11 recycling centres were open more often, and their 278 recycling ponts were serviced more frequently.

Some centres are closed on certain weekdays but to ensure this does not impact Fifers over Christmas, all 11 will be open on December 24, 27 and 31 and January 3.

In addition, Dalgety Bay recycling centre will be open on December 28 and January 4.

Recycling points will not be serviced on December 25 and 26 and January 1 and 2.

New measures to try to prevent misuse of recycling centres are coming in this month with body cameras to be issued to all staff.

They will be used to record instances of abuse towards workers and support commercial waste transactions.

ANPR is also being introduced to recycling centres to gather evidence on vehicle usage and prevent commercial misuse of the sites.

More changes will come in next month, including a ban on pedestrian access and wheelie bins at recycling centres, a new cashless payment system for comercial customers and tighter controls on the use of trailers for dumping waste.

You can report any instances of fly-tipping online at or call 03451 550022.