Illegal waste dump cleared

Netherplace Dye Works -midway through clearing process
Netherplace Dye Works -midway through clearing process

Communities across East Renfrewshire were earlier this year plagued by a fly infestation caused by the illegal dumping of waste at Netherplace Dye Works site near Newton Mearns.

In April, the Scottish Environment Protection Agency launched an investigation in response to reports from members of the public about nuisance flies.

Over 1,500 tonnes of mixed waste and chemicals had been deposited on the site, which had been leased to a tenant by the landowner.

SEPA moved with the council and landowner to secure the site so no more waste could be dumped, treat the immediate fly issue then work with the landowner to ensure the waste was removed safely and legally.

The removal process has been monitored closely by a partnership of public bodies including SEPA, East Renfrewshire Council and local emergency responders to ensure waste was removed and disposed of safely.

Now, following the final removal, the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA) is calling for greater vigilance in tackling waste crime.

This follows the launch of Crimestoppers’ campaign – in partnership with SEPA through the LIFE SMART Waste project – to encourage the public and waste industry to speak up anonymously about illegal warehouse dumping.

Kenny Boag, SEPA’s head of Operations for the South West, said: “The full and final clearance of waste from the former Netherplace Dye Works is great news, and will be warmly welcomed by the local community, which suffered greatly as a result of the illegal waste stored at this site.

“Organised waste crime impacts not only the environment, but communities also and SEPA will respond vigorously to those who dump in this way. Our advice to anyone who owns or rents vacant space is to carry out thorough checks on prospective tenants and stay vigilant, as this sort of illegal activity could happen to you.

“Abandoned or derelict sites, similar to the Netherplace Dye Works, are a prime target for criminals as they can disguise illegal activities under a mask of legitimate works such as construction and renovations.

“With illegal stockpiling on an industrial scale on the rise this is a strong reminder to owners to keep an eye on their land and not allow potential criminals the opportunity to turn a quick profit at your expense.”