News: The high cost of clearing up after fly-tippers

5th January 2017

Fly-tippers and litter bugs who dump their rubbish on our wildlife reserves are costing the Trust around £15,000 per year.

The total cost of clearing up the Trust’s reserves includes staff time as well as hiring contractors to remove large items and hazardous substances such as asbestos. This figure does not include the additional costs of dumped rubbish collected by local authorities from roadsides adjacent to the wildlife reserves, or time spent by local volunteers collecting litter.

Fly-tipped litter
Dealing with fly-tipping and littering costs the Trust around £15,000 per year. 

Further costs are incurred by putting preventative measures in place. These include installing height barriers at our car parks and reducing public access on some parts of reserves through the erection of gates and closure of tracks.

Some items found dumped

on our reserves include:



Burned-out vehicles

Bags of household rubbish

Building and plumbing waste







Garden waste

Animal waste


Seasonal packaging, including Christmas tree boxes

The worst affected reserves are in the Central Belt, including urban sites in Irvine and Dundee. However the problem is not confined to urban reserves, with some significant fly-tipping activities also affecting reserves in rural Aberdeenshire, the Scottish Borders and East Lothian.

Our Head of Reserves Alan Anderson said: “Fly-tipping is illegal and it poses a danger to both people and wildlife. It’s sad that some thoughtless individuals are dumping their waste on our reserves, forcing us as a charity to use our supporters’ money to clear up after them.

“Unfortunately the actions of a few people mean that many of our staff and volunteers have to spend a great deal of time clearing up rubbish when they could be working on more important projects such as creating and restoring wildlife habitats.”

Help us deal with fly-tipping by reporting any suspicious activity to the police or the local authority.

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