RESIDENTS have been urged to act sensibly amid concerns there could be “a spate” of fly-tipping incidents.

East Lothian Council has closed its four recycling centres – at Dunbar, Macmerry, North Berwick and Kinwegar, near Wallyford – due to the coronavirus.

At the same time, the local authority has put brown bin collections on hold.

Images have been posted on social media highlighting fly-tipping in Haddington and Tranent, showing building materials and a fridge being dumped.

Councillor Kenny McLeod, who represents the Tranent Macmerry Wallyford ward, found the large silver fridge while out walking his dog last week in the Tranent area.

He told the Courier he had noticed “extra rubbish being dumped” at The Heugh and Brickworks Road.

Further posts were highlighted on social media of fly-tipping taking place at spots on the outskirts of the town.

Mr McLeod also said there could be further cases of fly-tipping as the weather improved.

He told the Courier: “I think there could be a spate of them over the next week and a bit.

“With some decent weather, there could be people cutting their grass and doing odds and ends.”

Two residents from Haddington also got in touch with the Courier about fly-tipping off Park Lane.

One of them echoed the fears raised by Mr McLeod that the warmer weather could mean further cases of fly-tipping.

East Lothian Council deals with more than 400 cases of fly-tipping a year.

A spokeswoman for the local authority stressed some of the materials in the incidents reported were not suitable for the recycling centres and, despite suggestions of an increase in incidents, they had only been made aware of “a number of isolated incidents”.

Councillor Norman Hampshire, the local authority’s spokesman for the environment, told the Courier: “East Lothian enjoys some of the most scenic countryside in the country which can unfortunately be blighted by the thoughtless actions of a few individuals.

“Fly-tipping is illegal; so too is unnecessary travel during this current period so anyone caught could face a considerable fine.

“I would like to ask local residents if they spot any suspicious activity or people in the act of fly-tipping to note details of the vehicle if possible and report it.”

Councillor Craig Hoy, of Haddington and Lammermuir ward, said: “Fly-tipping is not a victimless crime: it poses a risk to public health and the environment – and, right now, it takes key workers away from vital duties. It is also a criminal offence and rightly carries stiff fines and can lead to a jail sentence. If we identify those responsible, prosecutions should follow.”