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Residents and businesses are encouraged to dispose of their rubbish responsibly

Posted on 4 Apr 2024

North Ayrshire Council is reminding residents and businesses to dispose of their rubbish responsibly and not put it in public litter bins.

Council street bins should not be used to dispose of household or commercial waste as this is classed as fly-tipping under the Environmental Protection (Scotland) Act, which makes littering a criminal offence.

The Council’s Streetscene team, which looks after our environment from litter collection to landscaping, has recently witnessed a rise in the misuse of public bins – and warns that Fixed Penalty Notices of up to £500 can be issued to offenders.

For example, shopkeepers who fill street bins outside their stores with their commercial waste should have their own waste contract.

Businesses have a statutory duty of care for their own waste, and placing it in public bins puts a burden on Streetscene resources and on the Council, which needs to pay landfill tax for waste like this that is disposed of irresponsibly.

Filling public bins with business rubbish also means residents and visitors to our towns and villages cannot conveniently dispose of things like takeaway containers and coffee cups.

Recently, six public bins in Largs were found to have been misused on the same day. And Streetscene staff have also come across personal data breaches, where takeaway delivery drivers have dumped paperwork - with customers’ names, addresses and phone numbers on delivery slips – into street bins.

Councillor Tony Gurney, Cabinet Member for Green Environment and Economy, said: “Misuse of public litter bins – for example, filling them with business waste – is denying a service to others who may wish to use them.

“This is an offence and, where we find evidence of local businesses doing this, these businesses will be charged a minimum of £120 for the servicing of the bin in question.

“Most people are respectful and take pride in keeping their neighbourhood – and places they visit in North Ayrshire – clean and tidy. We would just like to remind everyone that public litter bins are for public litter only.”

The Council puts yellow warning stickers, stating “No household, commercial or unapproved side waste. Misuse of this bin can result in a Fixed Penalty of up to £500” on bins that are repeatedly misused.

And a trial of new bins with a smaller slot at the top to prevent bulky items being deposited is ongoing.

 To report litter issues to North Ayrshire Council, please go online to https://tinyurl.com/3xkhsudm