DELAYS in clearing a mound of "festering rubbish" which has been a decade-long eyesore continue.

MSP Alex Rowley wrote to the minister for environment and land reform, Mairi McAllan, over concerns that the 30-feet high, 7,000-tonne, pile left behind near Lathalmond was encouraging more people to use the site as a dumping ground.

Legal action over who is responsible for clearing the pile, at the M90 commerce park, is holding up removal of the 10-year-old rubbish.

He received a response that, while the Scottish Government is supporting a solution, the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA) have advised that the waste does have a low environmental risk.

In his letter, he noted that another area had seen "increasing piles of rubbish, including old tyres and building debris," which the MSP says was adding to the "already hazardously-polluted site."

He wrote: "I am aware of the ongoing legal wrangling taking place between the site owners and SEPA, however, while that is happening, the environmental eyesore is now giving rise to the idea from others that they can get away with dumping waste at the site as well.

"If we cannot clear what is, in the scale of global pollution, a relatively small waste site in our countryside, what hope do we have for tackling the much bigger climate emergencies facing us as a country, and indeed as a planet?"

The politician asked if Ms McAllan would be willing to seek legal advice on what specific actions could be taken and questioned if the Scottish Government would step in if the cost could later be reimbursed.

Recycling firm First Option Services Ltd, who had leased the site from Trans-Britannia, failed to remove the waste when they stopped trading and it has since lain untouched, with the issue ending up in court after SEPA served a statutory notice on the landowner in November under the Environmental Protection Act 1990 requiring the removal of historic waste from the area.

The minister wrote: "Whilst the historic waste deposits are undoubtedly an eyesore, SEPA has assured the Scottish Government that there is a low environmental risk associated with the waste deposits in their current state.

"Again, while that is the case, I appreciate it is an eyesore for those in the area.

"That’s why the Scottish Government supports SEPA in seeking a solution to this issue which remedies it but avoids costs to the public purse.

"SEPA has advised the Scottish Government that they have confirmed the reports of the more recent deposits you referred to in your letter and SEPA officers have begun an investigation into these new deposits."

She also confirmed that on June 14, SEPA and the Dewan Foundation had agreed to sist the legal proceedings for a four-month period to allow for discussions."

Mr Rowley is now seeking advice on what can be done in the meantime, with plans to ask SEPA to provide detail of any assessments which decided the risk level.

Addressing the matter, a spokesperson for SEPA told the Times: “The Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA) SEPA remains firmly focussed on finding a solution for the removal of historic waste from the Lathalmond site.

“A notice was served by SEPA in November 2021, requiring the removal of the waste. 

“This notice was appealed and is now the subject of ongoing legal proceedings.

“SEPA officers continue to work with partners to investigate incidents of fly-tipping in the area, which are unrelated to the original waste.

“Fly-tipping can be reported to the Dumb Dumpers Stop Line online via or by phone on 0300 777 22 92."