Conservative Councillor Craig Hoy has called on the First Minister to lift the ban on council dumps to allow East Lothian’s recycling centres to reopen.
With fly-tipping on the rise and many people stock-piling rubbish at home, Councillor Hoy says Nicola Sturgeon should follow the lead set by England and Northern Ireland and revise official guidance on tip closures.
Hoy says: "Come on First Minister, if it’s permissible for B&Q to be open in Scotland, our dumps should be up and running too."
Speaking for the Conservative Group on East Lothian Council, Hoy says: "Come on First Minister, if it’s permissible for B&Q to be open in Scotland, our dumps should be up and running too. Recycling centres are an easy environment for social distancing and the move is necessary to halt the significant increase in fly-tipping we have seen since the lockdown."
Councillor Hoy said that waste recycling centres should be considered as a "core service" by Scottish Ministers.
“During the lockdown many residents have been very patient, storing rubbish from DIY projects or cupboard clear-outs at home. Recycling centres are a core service and can be easily adapted to ensure social distancing takes place. It’s time the First Minister got her finger out and lifted the dump ban," Councillor Hoy said.
His comments came after officials in East Lothian Council confirmed they had put plans in place to safely reopen the county’s waste centres once the Scottish Government gives the green light to do so.
Researchers say fly-tipping has increased by 300 per cent during the Covid-19 lockdown. Analysis from Southampton and Portsmouth universities said the closure of recycling centres and an increase in in DIY projects, among other factors.
Hoy, who is also his party’s Climate Change Champion and Holyrood 2021 candidate, added: “Some of our rural areas have seen a rise in fly-tipping, which is a criminal act. This is not a victimless crime. We should be tough on those responsible and make sure prosecutions follow if they are caught.”