FLY-TIPPING has increased by 12 per cent despite Fife Council’s introduction of a free bulky uplift service. 

Charges were removed in April 2023 and one of the main objectives was to reduce the illegal dumping of waste across the Kingdom.  

However, despite an “overnight” four-fold increase in demand for bulky uplifts, fly-tipping is more prevalent than ever. 

John Rodigan, head of the council's environment and building services, said: “The charges were removed in April of last year and overnight we saw a four-fold increase in demand, with between 11,000 to 12,000 uplifts a week.

“Over 55,000 uplifts have been made during the course of the year, and 114,000 separate items have been collected.” 

However, he said the anticipated reduction in fly-tipping has not come to pass.

In fact, incidents of illegal dumping have increased by 12 per cent in the last 12 months. 

“We can see the materials being dumped are predominantly commercial waste from small business owners and traders,” Mr Rodigan said. 

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“The strategy to deal with illegal dumping going forward will now focus on small businesses.” 

The report also revealed that 41 per cent of all uplifted material was sent to the landfill last year. 

“The remaining 59 per cent of material has been recycled but that figure is lower than we would like,” Mr Rodigan acknowledged. 

He said the vast majority of uplifts that went to the landfill were black bags of household waste and garden matter - 44,000 black bags were collected last year. 

“We are looking to increase the amount of recycled material and reduce the number of black bag volumes,” he said. 

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On the whole, Mr Rodigan said the level of demand for the council’s free bulky uplift service demonstrated its value to Kingdom residents. 

Environment spokesperson, Cllr Jan Wincott, said: “We have seen a huge uptake since removing the charge for the service last year, with a four-fold increase in demand.

"The free service has helped relieve pressure on our recycling centres, support residents with financial challenges and help them to dispose of their waste responsibly.

“Although the service has been successful so far, our fly-tipping figures are concerning. Fly-tipping is damaging to our environment and our communities and places unnecessary pressure on our frontline services.

“We urge all Fifers to continue to report instances of fly-tipping, which carries a fine of £500.”