Fly-tippers are blighting a picturesque fishing village – because a landslip has forced their recycling centre to close.
The Banffshire coast was spared the worst of the winter storms and flooding, but the heavy rain caused a landslip above a waste and recycling collection point in Gardenstown.
Local councillors met yesterday to discuss a recovery plan for flood damage in Banffshire and Buchan, and were told the landslip was having a serious impact on the village with people dumping their waste.
They called for urgent action to crackdown on the culprits, and to prevent the village being strewn with rubbish as tourist season approaches.
Area manager Margaret-Jane Cardno said: “In terms of infrastructure, one of the top priorities is repairs to the Gardenstown landslip.
“It’s having a significant impact on the community and officers are working on a waste collection plan.”
She added that in an other community a quick solution would have been found, but that the remoteness of the village and the narrow streets has “complicated” the recovery plan.
Councillors echoed her concerns and said fly-tipping has now become a problem as people abandon rubbish near the waste collection point.
However, the council has yet to confirm who owns the land – which is believed to be under private ownership – and this must be established before further action can be taken.
Local councillor Hamish Partridge said: “Tourism is important to the village. We’re getting fly-tipping – during the last flood there was a skip on the site, maybe a new skip could be used as a short term solution.
Fellow Troup member Mark Findlater said: “I have real empathy with the people of Gamrie. I am assured this is being looked at by our excellent waste management team.
“My concern is fly-tipping – folk are putting themselves at risk, as well as the council officers who have to clear the rubbish.
“Some of those rocks are ready to come down – it’s like a sword of Damocles over the top of there.”
Members of the committee endorsed the work done by officers to date, and called for regular reports on the progress of the flood recovery in the local area.