West Fife: Judicial delay leaves waste untouched at M90 business park near Lathalmond

Delays in cleaning up a mound of ‘festering waste’ that has been an eyesore for a decade in West Fife continue.

MSP Alex Rowley wrote to Environment and Land Reform Minister Mairi McAllan last month fearing the 30ft high, 7,000 tonne pile left behind near Lathalmond would encourage more people to use the site as a dump.

A lawsuit over who is responsible for cleaning up the pile, in the M90 ​​business park, is delaying the removal of the 10-year-old rubbish.

He received a response that while the Scottish Government supports a solution, the Scottish Environmental Protection Agency (SEPA) said the waste posed a low risk to the environment.

In his letter, he noted that another area had seen “increasing piles of rubbish, including old tires and construction debris”, which the MSP said added to the “already dangerously polluted site”. .

He wrote: “I am aware of the ongoing legal wrangling between the site owners and SEPA, however, while this is happening the environmental eyesore is now giving others the idea that they can get away with it. dumping waste at the site as well.

“If we cannot clean up what is, on the scale of global pollution, a relatively small waste site in our countryside, what hope do we have of dealing with the much larger climate emergencies we face as as a country, and even as a planet?”

The politician asked if Ms McAllan would be willing to seek legal advice on the specific steps that could be taken and asked if the Scottish Government would step in if the cost could be reimbursed at a later date.

Recycling company First Option Services Ltd, which had leased the site from Trans-Britannia, failed to remove the waste when it ceased trading and it has remained untouched since, with the issue coming before the courts after SEPA served legal notice on the landowner in November under the Environment Protection Act 1990 requiring the removal of historic waste from the area.

The minister wrote: “While the historic waste repositories are undoubtedly an eyesore, SEPA has assured the Scottish Government that there is low environmental risk associated with the waste repositories in their current state.

“Again, even if this is the case, I appreciate that it is an eyesore for those in the area.

“That is why the Scottish Government is supporting SEPA in finding a solution to this problem that addresses it but avoids the cost to the public purse.

“SEPA has informed the Scottish Government that it has confirmed the reports of the most recent deposits referred to by you in your letter and SEPA officers have opened an investigation into these new deposits.”

She also confirmed that on June 14, SEPA and the Dewan Foundation had agreed to sit on the legal proceedings for a period of four months to allow for discussions.”

Mr Rowley is now seeking advice on what can be done in the meantime, intending to ask SEPA to provide details of any assessment that decided the level of risk.

SEPA was contacted for comment but did not respond as press went to print.