Contract announced to help ministers quantify ‘scale and cost’ of litter and fly spills in Scotland
A new advertisement on the Public Contracts Scotland website calls on ‘external service providers’ to calculate ‘the scale and cost of waste and fly spills’ for public bodies and private land owners.
The contract, worth £ 60,000, is part of the Scottish Government’s plan to create a new national waste and fly spill management strategy.
Shocking footage of rotting waste at an illegal landfill in Glasgow as landfills …
The successful bidder will be responsible for updating the latest official figures gathered for a Zero Waste Scotland report almost ten years ago.
The 2013 study, titled ‘Scotland’s Litter Problem’, found that cleaning up illegally dumped waste costs taxpayers £ 53million per year.
According to the report, around 15,000 tonnes of waste was dumped in Scotland each year, 80% of which was potentially recyclable.
He also estimated that every year 26,000 tonnes of illegally dumped waste is handled by local authorities, although this figure “excludes the vast majority of cases occurring on private land”.
But the latest effort to quantify the scale of the problem has been dismissed by critics as a “symbolic gesture” ahead of the November COP26 summit in Glasgow.
Repeated concerns have been raised about the state of the city ahead of the event, which will see world leaders from nearly 200 countries, including United States President Joe Biden, Pope Francis and the Queen, descend to Glasgow for 12 days of negotiations.
In August, local Conservative adviser Euan Blockley described the city as a ‘mess’ after images of litter-strewn streets and overflowing trash cans were posted online.
Earlier this month, Glasgow Council chief Susan Aitken admitted the authority’s retraining record was ‘dismal’, but insisted the city only needed a “Refreshment as we come out of Covid”.
Scottish Conservative MP Murdo Fraser criticized the timing of the bidding process, telling The Scotsman: “The quantification of the scale and cost of flying tips is long overdue and to be welcomed.
“However, this exercise seems nothing more than a symbolic gesture made before COP26. The fly spill affects communities across Scotland.
The regional MSP Mid Scotland and Fife added: ‘The legislation which deals with it offers insufficient deterrent effect, which is one of the reasons why I am preparing a Members’ Bill on the matter.
“The bill will also consider issues such as confirming strict liability for fly spills and how data on fly spills can be gathered by an organization.”
It is not yet clear whether the new fly spill study will begin in time to examine Alexandra Park in Glasgow, where a massive cleanup was staged this week.
Organized crime groups are suspected of discreetly dumping a mountain of rubbish under a section of the M8 motorway, including refrigerators, washing machines, bathtubs, toilets, rotten garbage bags and construction waste dangerous.
A spokesperson for the local authority said: “This site is not maintained by the council, but we fully commend the work of the site manager to dispose of the illegally dumped waste and ensure the safety of the site afterwards.
“Those responsible for the fly spills at this site have shown complete disregard for the environment and for the safety of anyone living or working in the vicinity of this environmental crime.”
The Scottish government was unavailable for comment on Friday.