Councils that have spent hundreds of thousands of pounds cleaning up fly-tipping sites in Scotland have issued just a handful of fines.
Despite spending huge sums tidying up illegally-dumped rubbish, some councils haven’t given out fixed penalty notices for years and haven’t referred anyone to police.
This is despite the fact fly-tipping and littering cost Scottish local authorities £78m a year to tackle.
Some of the waste being dumped poses a severe health hazard such as dirty syringes, industrial chemicals and asbestos.
Fire chiefs have also warned the problem puts lives at risk as some fly-tipping sites become a magnet for fire-raisers.
Our revelation comes months after the Scottish Government raised the fine for littering from £50 to £80 and fines for fly-tipping to £200.
Mary Church, head of campaigns for Friends of the Earth Scotland, blasted the findings.
She said: “Fly-tipping can be a real environmental hazard and councils need to tackle the problem seriously.”
Figures provided to The Sunday Post show North Ayshire Council has spent more than half a million pounds in the last three years cleaning rubbish dumped illegally.
However, during that time the council issued just six fixed penalty notices for littering and referred one person to police for waste crime offences.
North Ayrshire Council said: “A better understanding of enforcement delivery and the legal process around it will permit the Council to initiate prosecutions.”
Aberdeenshire Council spent £125,902 cleaning up fly-tipping in that time but issued just two fixed penalty notices for littering.
Midlothian council said it hasn’t handed out any “fines, warning letters or any other form of caution for littering” in that time.
Our figures show that in the last three years councils have reported 1,567 people to police for waste crime offences.
Local authorities were only aware of 200 people who were successfully prosecuted as a result.