Farmer pays £2,000 to clean up two tonnes of raw meat waste

The fly tipping clear up operation lasted four hours and cost £2,000
The fly tipping clear up operation lasted four hours and cost £2,000

A Lanarkshire farmer has had to pay £2,000 to clean up two tonnes of raw meat waste which was dumped on his land.

Davy Shanks stumbled across the disgusting discovery in one of the worst fly tipping incidents to hit Scotland recently.

NFU Scotland and Scottish Land & Estates (SLE) said the incident was 'frustrating and heart-breaking'.

The waste was dumped from a public road, over the side of a bridge - creating both a health risk and an environmental incident.

Despite repeated calls to North Lanarkshire Council for assistance, Mr Shanks was left with organising and paying for the clean-up costs.

North Lanarkshire Council agreed to a 24-hour road closure which allowed Mr Shanks to shovel the rotting butchery waste into plastic tubs to be lifted and disposed of by a local waste disposal firm.

Mr Shanks used his own staff and local environmental cleaning company Greenerleaf to clear up, but because the process took place at the weekend, overtime pay was also incurred.

The clear up operation lasted four hours, and no compensation for Mr Shanks is available.

The Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA) are investigating the incident just off the A73 Stirling Road near Brackenhirst Farm. An appeal for information has been issued.

Mr Shanks said it was 'ridiculous' that he was held responsible for someone else’s waste simply because it was dumped on his land.

“Other than agreeing to the road closure, I received little support from my local authority and, disappointingly, despite the seriousness of the incident they failed to return my calls," he said.

“This is a fly-tipping hotspot on a public road. We have had couches, beds and pallets tipped over the side of the bridge on numerous occasions, but this was the first time we have seen food waste dumped, creating an environmental hazard."

Mr Shanks said that until the local authority fenced the bridge or introduced CCTV, these incidents would continue to happen.

He added there was a case for some of the costs of clearing up to be covered by local authorities rather than farmers and landowners.

And since lockdown, fly-tipping has increased 'ten-fold': "We now use a phone app which sends an alert to the relevant council of any new incident," he said.

"We have seen numerous different episodes of fly tipping, more so during lockdown, these have been logged and photographs sent to the app of which only a few have ever been lifted.

"We have a burnt-out pick-up sitting in a gateway since March which we have reported but the council response is that they have no resources available to lift it.”