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Accumulations of Waste and Rubbish

Services are available to residents and businesses to remove all types of waste. Where waste and material for recycling is not being placed in bins, bins are not put out for collection or bins have been overfilled, rubbish can begin to accumulate in gardens, back yards and other areas.

It is the responsibility of all residents and business owners to make sure that this does not happen and to sort out problems when they arise.

Responsibilities of Residents

The most important things are to:

  • separate out recycling from landfill waste, so you have enough space in your landfill (grey) bin;
  • to know which bin to put each type of waste and recycling in; and
  • what days to put the bins out.

Householders can find out all they need to know on  the Recycling and Waste web pages.

Responsibilities of Businesses

From 1st April 2019 businesses must make their own arrangements for collection of recycling and waste. This should be arranged through a private contractor. For businesses, the most important thing is to have the right combination of storage capacity and number of uplifts.

Businesses must also segregate their waste. See Commercial Waste for information.

Landowners are responsible for the removal and correct disposal of waste from their land, irrespective of how it got there. This also applies where waste has arisen from illegal or unauthorised use of the land, although enforcement action will be taken against the perpetrators if their identity can be proven. Where private land is repeatedly used illegally, landowners are recommended to take measures to prevent unauthorised use.

Enforcement Action

Where rubbish begins to accumulate, Environmental Health can take formal action to ensure that it is cleared up. West Lothian Council has legal powers to require removal of rubbish which will rot or provide food for pests. Contact Environmental Health & Trading Standards. If no action is taken by the occupier or owner of the property, the council may arrange for removal of the rubbish by a private contractor and charge the occupier or owner the full costs involved. Due to the legal and administrative processes involved, it is likely to take four to five weeks between receiving a complaint and arranging for a private contractor to remove the rubbish.

It is not possible to require landowners to remove inert or non-putrescible items such as:

  • building material or debris;
  • children's toys;
  • discarded white goods; or
  • old vehicles.

Where this type of material is causing an eyesore home, please see our information on Eyesore Homes.

Cost Recovery

Where the council has to make arrangements for removal of the rubbish because the owner(s) or occupier(s) of the property fails to do so, all responsible parties will be invoiced for their share of:

  • the cost  of the works concerned; and
  • the staff time involved in arranging for the works.

In addition, a fee of £6.47 is added to each invoice to cover the administrative costs of recovering the money owed to the council. Invoices can be paid: