GLASGOW council officials have again denied the introduction of bulk waste charges has led to an increase in fly-tipping, as a local councillor insisted the problem has escalated.

The local authority made the decision to introduce the charges for removing bulky items at its full council meeting in February 2020, despite concerns raised at the time that this could lead to an increase in fly-tipping. 

During the recent operations and scrutiny committee, Drumchapel and Anniesland councillor Patricia Ferguson said the issue of fly-tipping in her ward had gotten worse in the last couple of years. 

And she said her constituents had misunderstood the cost of getting bulk waste removed.

She said: “I would like to refer back to the issue surrounding street cleaning. It seems to me that we need to have a lot more education on this whole issue.

“I am talking about everything from how you recycle, where you recycle, down to the issue of fly-tipping. 

“I have had constituents say to me that they can’t afford to have bulk items lifted because they think it is £35 or £40 per item – which it’s not.

“I have explained that but that is what people think unfortunately and I have certainly seen a huge rise in fly-tipping in my area just in the last couple of years since I have been a councillor.

“That worries me because that is people getting into an entrenched way of thinking – that you can just dump things and someone else will come and take them away.

“I do wonder if we should have some sort of educational programme around [waste disposal]. I very much welcome the fact that we are talking to schools because that is incredibly important.”

A council officer agreed that more communication was needed when it comes to removing bulky waste but there was no evidence that the introduction of cost had impacted the problem.

A council officer said: “I think you raise an interesting point about the £5 bulk charge. When that went live in the Budget we did a couple of social media posts with our PR team.

“Perhaps that isn’t enough – you can never communicate enough and how do you reach the right people – it’s a difficult one.

“One of the things with fly-tipping is that there are problematic hotspots across the city and we know where they are and it tends to be a white van type thing as opposed to householders.

“It tends to be that sort of thing that causes us the biggest problems. There is no evidence that fly-tipping has increased as a result of the introduction of the charge or if there’s any kind of link.

“But fly-tipping is absolutely a problem. I am happy to take away your comment to let more people know about the £5 charge as opposed to people assuming it’s costing £35 for the 10 items.”