South Ayrshire Council has been challenged to take tougher action in the fight against litter louts.
The closure of civic amenity sites around South Ayrshire has highlighted the issue and brought it into sharp focus.
In the wake of the coronavirus outbreak, the local authority last month announced the closure of all their waste disposal sites until further notice.
A statement on one of South Ayrshire Council’s social media channels said: “We are taking further measures to help to reduce the spread of coronavirus (COVID-19). Our household waste and recycling centres will not open and will remain closed until further notice.”
That includes the closure of recycling centres at Ayr, Girvan, Maybole and Troon.
But in some cases the closures have led to scores of irresponsible people taking advantage and discarding their junk illegally.
Now calls have been made for the council to take a new approach and come up with a long-term solution.
It seems particularly bad, as these pictures show, in the Heathfield Road area. One Post reader got in touch, expressing dismay at the current situation.
Phil McNeish, 74, said: “I am contacting the Post because I’m concerned about the appalling situation of our streets and land.
“The council is not doing their job properly otherwise we wouldn’t have the problem.
“The council is happy to empty the bins and tick the boxes when it comes to meet the targets, but the problem we are facing can only be solved if the council put enough man-power in place and take action on a day-to-day basis.
“The council should also send out inspectors on a daily basis and those inspectors should contact the land owners and force them to clean up the areas.”
Another resident claimed businesses need to do their bit.
Agnes McAllister, 68, said: “Heathfield Road is probably one of the worst areas but there are hotspots all over Ayrshire.
“All those businesses attract people and unfortunately a good number of individuals don’t behave well.
“At the same time the businesses are causing the problem because they don’t care – they are happy to make money but they have zero concerns for the environment.
“After this major COVID-19 crisis, one of the things that will help Scotland to recover their economy is tourism. Litter is the last thing we want to show to a tourist.
“If we love Scotland, then we must protect Scotland. We are facing a litter epidemic.
She added: “Hopefully The Post will help to make a difference, reaching out to the public and make the public aware that we cannot countinue in this way. At the same time the council and local MPs should feel the pressure because once it goes in the news, they have to take action.”
A council spokesperson said: “The health and safety of our customers and employees is our priority as the situation around
the coronavirus outbreak develops.
“There is a significant reduction in our available resources which will have an impact on some of our recycling and waste services.
“To allow us to continue to collect your household waste, we have prioritised general waste; food waste and recycling streams.
“We have also reduced grass cutting, street sweeping and litter picking significantly to allow us to continue to deliver critical services.
“As the situation progresses, other services may have to be suspended at short notice, e.g. returns to service and recycling, to enable the collection of general waste and food waste to continue.
“We appreciate that this is a difficult time for everyone. However, it is unacceptable to simply drop litter, fly-tip or dump rubbish and we would reiterate that anyone found to be deliberately breaking the law faces an £80 littering fixed penalty notice, or a £200 penalty for fly tipping.
“Changes can happen very quickly just now so please visit our website regularly for updates: https://beta.south-ayrshire.gov.uk/coronavirus.”