Work begins to remove illegal dump causing fly infestation

image caption, Officials say the scale of the problem makes it complicated to deal with

Work to remove waste in an illegal dump blamed for a fly infestation around Newton Mearns is under way, environment officials confirmed.

The Scottish Environment Protection Agency (Sepa) said the waste at Netherplace Dye Works was being sprayed in a bid to control flies on the site.

Sepa's Kenny Boag explained that with the start of spraying he hoped removal of the waste could start soon.

Local residents have complained about the growing number of flies.

The infestation was also reported to be causing problems in neighbouring Clarkston and Giffnock.

The waste is being treated as a criminal investigation, but Sepa said remedial measures could be taken in tandem with evidence gathering.

Mr Boag, Sepa's head of operations for the south west, said he recognised that "time is of the essence".

Flies 'plaguing' residents

In a statement on Tuesday, he said: "Sepa's primary role in matters at this time is to ensure that the waste that has been illegally deposited can be safely and responsibly managed, transported and disposed of at suitably licensed facilities.

"Importantly also in this case we had to give consideration to the treatment of this waste, to address the fly problem which has been plaguing local residents.

"Over the last few days we've been working closely with the landowner and his waste contractor and pest control contractors, and we are pleased to confirm that the pest control contractor is on site as we speak treating the waste. We are also close to agreeing a method statement with the waste contractor, and hope to see removals being removed from the site to authorised disposal facilities soon.

"Sepa will continue to maintain a presence on the site both to support the ongoing works and also importantly to gather evidence so we may identify the persons responsible for this criminal act."

image caption, Waste can be seen spilling from doorways of the building

Mr Boag earlier said loose and baled cardboard, construction and demolition waste, as well as municipal wastes and liquid wastes had been found at the site.

He added: "Given the array of waste materials that can be seen at this stage... it is vital that the correct method of management, removal, transport and disposal is taken to ensure that it does not result in harmful or illegal consequences elsewhere.

"Sepa have had daily interaction with the landowner to help them understand the scale of the problem and also assist them in resolving a number of immediate issues which could affect the local environment.

"An essential role for Sepa going forward is to identify the persons responsible for this act and we have designed our investigation to run alongside any removal works, so that we do not impeded the rate at which this site is cleared."

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