In November 2005, the Scottish Environment Protection Agency received reports of fly-tipping on land next to the council’s Raebush Storage Depot. When officers visited the site they saw one of the council’s lorries dumping material.
Later investigations revealed waste, including excavated material from road works and landscaping, had been dumped across the site. The land did not have a waste management licence and part of it was a site of special scientific interest.
Appearing at Stonehaven sheriff court on 23 May, the council pleaded guilty to one charge of knowingly depositing waste on land without a licence and one of keeping waste on land in a manner likely to cause pollution, both contrary to section 33(1) of the Environmental Protection Act 1990. It was fined £16,000.
In a statement, Aberdeenshire said the incident occurred because "it was not thought the material would have an adverse effect on the biodiversity of the area".