A Mayfield man who contacted the council to report fly-tipping has been left fuming after being left out of pocket because of the phone call.
Stuart Christie was outraged to discover that his call to the Dumb Dumpers telephone number on the Midlothian Council website cost him £7.70.
He said: “I was driving home one night a couple of months ago and I noticed lots and lots of tyres dumped in a field. So I reported it to the council and they were removed the next day. But when my phone bill came through I realised I had been charged £7.70 for the phone call.
“It’s disgraceful, that isn’t encouraging anybody to report fly-tipping. It’s the only number you can call to alert the council about local fly-tipping so I think that it is shocking how much it costs just to do the right thing.”
Mr Christie highlighted the issue at last week’s meeting of Mayfield and Easthouses Community Council and chairman Robert Hogg agreed to take up the matter.
Alan Greig, the man behind moves in Mayfield to set up a voluntary group to monitor and remove fly-tipping in the area, said: “How are you meant to get the community interacting with the council to improve the local area when it hits them in the pocket?
“It’s absolutely shocking and I wouldn’t blame anyone for saying ‘I’m not phoning the council’ if it costs that much, it’s ridiculous.
“We will be meeting with the council soon to discuss our plans and this is certainly something I will bring up.”
A council spokesman said: “This is a national telephone number. We advise the public on our website that they will incur a charge if they phone this number rather than reporting the flytipping online, which is also an option. We do not receive any money from the telephone line charges.”