FLY-TIPPERS are being urged to use East Lothian’s recycling centres after a large pile of rubbish was discovered on land near Musselburgh.

Resident Christina Quin came across the mound of debris – which included beer glasses, a bar stool, burnt out mattress and gas cannister – in an overgrown area between Queen Margaret University and the town’s railway station while out for a walk recently.

“It was awful to see and looked like someone had set it on fire,” she said.

“One thing I often wonder is if some poor person has paid to have their rubbish removed and taken to a council waste centre, only for it to end up being dumped like this.

“If you have transport then why not take your rubbish to the dump unless you are a business and don’t want to pay a licence fee?”

A spokesperson for Persimmon Homes East Scotland, which owns the land, said: “This instance of fly-tipping on land that we own has been brought to our attention. Arrangements to remove the material are under way.”

A spokesperson for East Lothian Council told the Courier that there had not been an increase in fly-tipping in the Musselburgh area but there were occasions when people did dump household and commercial rubbish irresponsibly.

The council advised that people use the recycling sites for the safe disposal of rubbish.

Materials can be taken there in a van or with a trailer between 8.30am and 10.30am at no charge. Height barriers are in operation at sites outwith these times. The vehicle requires to be registered at the recycling centre and there is a restriction on taking waste in a van or a trailer to 12 visits per year.

The council spokesperson added: “We are grateful to receive any reports of fly-tipping across East Lothian which are fully investigated in a bid to track down the dumpers.

“The amenity sites are open seven days a week but also if you have large items at home that you no longer need and are still in good condition, you can have them collected by calling the Reuse Line on 0800 0665 820 and they will arrange for a local reuse organisation to collect your item and pass it on to be used by someone else.”

A spokesperson for Queen Margaret University said: “We are aware of the situation.

“While the rubbish is not on land owned by QMU, our estates team has contacted both the local council and landowner to bring it to their attention.”

A spokesman for the Scottish Environment Protection Agency (SEPA) said: “Everyone can help end the selfish, criminal fly-tipping behaviours that blight our communities.

“We all have a legal responsibility to ensure that we produce, store, transport and dispose of our waste without harming the environment, which means we need to ensure that only licensed professionals handle our waste.

“SEPA maintains an online register of licensed waste carriers and brokers, enabling the public or businesses to check and ensure that contractors are sufficiently compliant.

“If you suspect fly-tipping is being carried out or want to report illegal traders, you can call the Dumb Dumpers Stopline on 0845 2 30 40 90 or complete a form at”

Fly-tipping is dealt with under the Environmental Protection Act 1990 and cases in Scotland would be heard in the Scottish courts system.

It can, however, also be dealt with by a fixed penalty notice issued under the Antisocial Behaviour (Scotland) Act 2004.