FLY-TIPPING incidents are reported more often in Helensburgh and Lomond than anywhere else in Argyll and Bute, a report has revealed.

The number of ‘incident service requests’ in Helensburgh and the surrounding area jumped from 127 in the 2019-20 financial year to 140 in 2020-21.

The same report reveals that the number of hours spent by Argyll and Bute Council wardens on dealing with fly-tipping incidents nearly doubled year-on-year in Helensburgh and Lomond – from 223.75 to 450.25.

According to the report, the 140 incidents reported in Helensburgh and Lomond in the 12 months to March 31 this year compares to 72 in Bute and Cowal, 57 in Oban, Lorn and the Isles, and 33 in Mid Argyll, Kintyre and the Islands.

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Across Argyll and Bute the number of hours spent by wardens addressing litter or fly-tipping issues increased from 902 in 2019-20 to 1,037 in 2020-21.

But the report says that despite the increase in incident service requests in Helensburgh and Lomond – part of a council-wide increase from 285 to 302 year-on-year – fly-tipping incidents across the local authority area overall remain “infrequent” and are not on the same scale as in other councils.

The figures are contained in a document which will go before the council’s audit and scrutiny committee at its meeting on Thursday, June 23.

Councillor Lynch said in the report: “Management considers that Argyll and Bute Council does not have the increasing issue with fly-tipping that is being experienced by other councils. They are aware of only six incidents during the Covid-19 lockdown period.

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“Incidents experienced are infrequent and take up a small percentage of the environmental wardens’ time.

“Waste is mostly composed of construction materials, tyres, white goods and other larger household items, there can also be seasonal materials such as gardening waste. Other instances occur where bins are overflowing and waste is left beside them.

“Reports of fly-tipping are received via the council’s customer service centre and passed to roads and Infrastructure services for action. Wardens will investigate the location as soon as possible to avoid escalation of an occurrence.”

The report also detailed the council’s partnership work with several organisations with regards to littering and fly-tipping.

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Councillor Lynch added: “The council also works very closely with the National Park Authority as they operate within our boundaries.

“Two previous partnership arrangements were less successful based at the Blackhill Civic Amenity Site in the Helensburgh area. Unfortunately items were not being taken away for deployment and break ins and damage occurred at the site.

“There is also some joint working with West Dunbartonshire Council as a neighbouring authority but there were some legalities regarding responsibilities, this will be revisited prior to the start of the new season to discuss ways of assisting each other.

“There are also some discussions on potential joint waste transfer stations as we progress towards the biodegradable municipal landfill ban that comes in to force in December 2025.”

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