Town rubbish debate reaches tipping point

SBHN Burnfoot skips abandoned
SBHN Burnfoot skips abandoned

Calls have been made for Scottish Borders Council to intervene as the dumping of household rubbish is becoming “a serious problem” in Hawick.

Earlier this year, after problems with litter in the Havelock Place area, local councillors called for the problem to be dealt with.

SBC LIb Dem candidate for Hawick and Denholm Watson McAteer

SBC LIb Dem candidate for Hawick and Denholm Watson McAteer

But it appears to have worsened, with the discovery of three abandoned skips in the grounds of a council-owned economic regeneration site at Burnfoot South.

The site was renovated as part of a wider investment project in new employment sites back in 2011. There have been no takers for the six lots at the site.

Councillors have noted the three large skips dumped at the Burnfoot South site are only 400 yards from a recycling centre. Another skip, this one to the rear of Hawick Rugby Club, is only 200 yards from the recycling centre.

Independent Councillor for Hawick and Denholm, Watson McAteer, said this week: “Burnfoot and the Mansfield area are becoming dumping grounds for skip hire companies.

“I have asked the council to intervene and ensure that these containers are legally placed in the future.”

He continued: “The main problem is the unauthorised use of the skips by people who either cannot be bothered to visit the recycling yard or fear they will be charged excessive fees.

“It is imperative that the use of recycling facilities are not being impaired due to perceived costs of dumping rubbish.”

Earlier this year Councillor McAteer said of the litter situation: “Those living nearby and indeed those in Burnfoot should not put up with it. The landlords and owners must take responsibility and put this right as soon as possible.

Councillor Stuart Marshall also commented on the skips.

“The dumping of large items of household rubbish is becoming a serious problem in the town,” he said, “and I can only assume that the charges for using the recycling centre are putting people off.

“It is incredible that people are prepared to use a skip some 200 yards from the recycling centre although there is evidence that this location is also being used to deposit garden waste next to the riverbank.

“The council must take action to have these skips removed and to encourage people to use the recycling centre.’