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Caithness News Bulletins September 2005

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Illegal dumping and burning waste will be in the spotlight next week when Scotland's green watchdog takes part in a week-long clampdown on fly-tipping.

From 3-10 October, the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA) is targeting businesses and individuals who flaunt the law by illegally disposing of their rubbish as part of the Scottish Fly-tipping Forum Enforcement Week.

Following the success of a similar seven day crackdown in August, during which 161 vehicles were stopped and 35 notices were issued to waste carriers who couldn't provide paperwork or proof of registration, SEPA officers will once again be teaming up with police and local authorities.

They will be carrying out surveillance operations at notorious dumping grounds and vehicles thought to be carrying waste without being registered will also be stopped and searched.

A representative at the Thurso office of SEPA indicated that they will be undertaking a number of activities relating to the Caithness and Sutherland situation with more checks being made to find out who is contravening the regulations on disposal of waste.

SEPA's environmental partnership manager Carol McGinnes said: "Fly-tipping is an eyesore and can be hazardous to the public who comes into contact with it.

"It is a blight on the environment. This week is about raising awareness and everyone should consider the impacts of their actions, whether it is in their home, business and local community when disposing of their waste."

The high profile campaign will use intelligence gathered from the previous event to target illegal tyre dumpers and both SEPA and council officers will be performing "duty of care" audits at premises which deal with supplying, fitting and disposing of tyres.

David McPherson, National Fly-tipping Prevention Officer for Keep Scotland Beautiful said: "There is much to be gained by local authorities, SEPA and the police working together. Skills transfer is most important and it is hoped that this joint enforcement week will lead to improved working practices across the country."

The public can help by contacting the Dumb Dumpers Stop line 0845 2 30 40 90 and giving details of offenders, their vehicles and where they are dumping.  More information and an online reporting form are available on the Campaign web site www.dumbdumpers.org