Overflowing bins after bank holiday tourist influx

Bins were overflowing in many tourist hotspots including Tayinloan, at the Gigha ferry car park, after the bank holiday weekend.
Bins were overflowing in many tourist hotspots including Tayinloan, at the Gigha ferry car park, after the bank holiday weekend.

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An influx of visitors during the bank holiday weekend resulted in overflowing bins in many of Kintyre’s tourist hotspots.

There were also reports of human excrement in the sand dunes at Westport beach where there are currently no toilet facilities.

With an expected increase in ‘staycations’ this year, many outraged residents have called on South Kintyre’s councillors and Argyll and Bute Council officials to act to prevent this being repeated in future months.

An Argyll and Bute Council spokesperson said: ‘The council is taking a wide range of action to encourage people to enjoy Argyll responsibly, and secure the much-needed benefits of tourism for the local economy.

‘For example, we re-opened toilets across Kintyre in April, and have ordered portaloos for Westport beach.

‘From this weekend, we will also provide more litter bins at the car park, and empty them three times, rather than the usual twice per week. We will also provide additional patrols at these popular locations.’

Councillor John Armour said: ‘I thank council officers for responding to this awful situation so quickly and for acting in a positive manner. I hope this will all be in place as soon as possible and we do not see a repeat of last weekend’s scenes.

‘Please, if the bins in car parks are full, take your rubbish home with you or to the amenity site at the Roading rather than leave it lying beside bins.’

He added that he intended to highlight the issues at Westport and other Kintyre beauty spots at a virtual meeting of the council’s environment, development and infrastructure committee yesterday (Thursday).

Councillor Donald Kelly said: ‘The council should have been proactive and had a plan in place to provide adequate facilities to accommodate the anticipated influx of tourists.

‘It has been well documented that this is going to be an exceptional year for staycations.

‘If we are going to encourage people to come to the area, it is vitally important that the necessary infrastructure is in place.’

Councillor Rory Colville added: ‘The large influx of visitors over the holiday weekend resulted in overflowing bins and street litter across Argyll and Bute, meaning extra resources being utilised resulting in the vast majority of excess litter being quickly cleared, often by staff giving up their days off; the same staff who were some of the first to return to work during lockdown.’

The council spokesperson added: ‘Public co-operation is important in avoiding problems – if you can, please take your litter home or to a recycling centre, and plan ahead for comfort breaks.

‘We are encouraging everyone who visits Argyll’s attractions to have a great time and be a great visitor – see www.argyll-bute.gov.uk/abplace2visit for information.’