The Don't Waste West Lothian campaign brings together a range of partners who are aiming to raise awareness of the wide range of waste disposal options available to members of the public.
The campaign is also encouraging people to report fly-tipping in their communities in an effort to help protect the local environment.
Litter and fly-tipping are both dangerous to wildlife and ruins the environment for everyone. Fly tipping is illegal and anyone caught could be fined up to £40,000 or face a jail sentence. Littering carries an on the spot fine of £80.
During the first six months of 2023 West Lothian Council received 1193 fly-tipping enquires leading to the collection of 131 tons of fly-tipped material.
The council believes that the vast majority of fly tipping is commercial in nature, rather than caused by households. Often the type and volume of items left, such as large amounts of tyres, builders rubble and discarded bathrooms, would clearly appear to have been generated by business activities, although this is often impossible to prove conclusively.
Businesses are legally required to make their own arrangements to make sure any waste they produce is disposed of responsibly. The council's community recycling centres are for households only, so do not accept any business waste.
If you are having work done in your house or if you are hiring a company to take waste away, households must make sure the company has a SEPA waste carrier' licences - otherwise householders, as well as the company, could end up being fined if it is found to have been fly-tipped.
If you do have large items at home that need disposed of then there are plenty of options available to you when it comes to disposal.
Do you know that householders can take their household items such as old fridge freezer, sofas and electrical items to a Community Recycling Centre? There are five situated across West Lothian.
If you are unable to attend a recycling centre then householders are able to book a bulky uplift which will see the council attend your property to collect your unwanted items. There is a small charge to have up to five items collected from your property.
If you spot fly tipping - report it and if it is on Council ground it will be removed as soon as possible and investigated. Our team will seek to identify where the waste came from and issue Fixed Penalty Notices to culprits.
Fly-tipping can be reported via an online form on the West Lothian Council website: https://www.westlothian.gov.uk/article/32089/Report-Illegal-Fly-Tipping
If waste is dumped on private land, it is the land owners responsibility to have it removed
Visit the Don't Waste West Lothian web page on the council website for more on the campaign: https://www.westlothian.gov.uk/dontwaste
Executive councillor for the environment, Tom Conn said: "Together, we all have a responsibility to ensure our waste is disposed of responsibly. Most people understand that fly tipping is illegal and if you see fly tipping you should report it to the council, but did you know that you can be held responsible if you pay someone to remove your waste and they dump it? If an offer to collect and dispose of your waste sounds too good to be true it probably is.
"This campaign looks to remind everyone of the numerous safe and legal waste disposal options available while raising awareness of the illegal practices of some individuals who look to dump commercial waste and blight our country side. It is vital that those who seek to damage our natural environment are caught and punished so I would urge everyone to be vigilant and please report any instances of fly-tipping to the council."