The history of Dundee dairies has been laid bare by what Angus eco campaigners fear is the disturbance of old Broughty landfill during the multi-million pound esplanade improvement project.
Volunteers are calling for an urgent investigation after what has been branded “industrial scale” quantities of rubbish washed up along the Angus coast this year.
One clean-up on the protected sands of Barry Buddon uncovered a staggering 4,000 bottles.
The sands there are a Site of Special Scientific Interest.
And thousands of other items have been found on the stretch from Monifieth to East Haven.
Angus Clean Environments volunteers have been working for months to try and trace the source of the rubbish.
Campaigner Wendy Murray says the evidence points towards historic landfill near Broughty seafront being dug up as part of the showpiece £18m scheme to upgrade the esplanade and improve active travel links to Angus.
Their dossier of evidence has gone to Dundee City Council and environment agency Sepa.
Campaigners fear further damage is being done to the local coastline by glass which is being crushed by diggers working on the project.
And they are frustrated at the lack of action over the potential long-term risk to the area.
“The scale of this is shocking, but we just cannot get them to take it seriously,” said Wendy.
The ACE report includes details and photographs of the extensive range of waste picked up by Angus volunteers this year.
- Milk, medicine and perfume bottles
- 1960/70s plastic bottles
- Old crisp packets from the days of pre-decimalisation
- Fragments of 19th century china
- Old animal bones
- Smartie sweet lids
Angus beach waste findings include complete milk bottles
The finds include hundreds of complete bottles, many from long-gone Dundee dairies.
Seonaid McGurk of Monifieth Eco Force has gathered up around 250 since the investigation into the coastal detritus began.
But her fascination with items found on local sands goes back much further.
She has written a book, the Beachcomber’s Journal, after spending the last five years researching the origins of objects.
And Seonaid is also convinced the waste originates from landfill because of the number of glass items which can be traced back to the Victorian era.
“There are lots of old glass milk bottles which are complete and still in good condition,” said Seonaid.
“Most of them originate from the Dundee area – there were no real food miles in those days.”
Her list of finds features milk bottles from:
- Newton of Baldovan
- Guild’s Dairy
- James Fitchett, Dryburgh
- DPM 1933
- Forthill Dairy
- G Bathie, Shepherd’s Loan
- John Kerr, Balfield Dairy
- Scottish Co-operative Wholesale Society
- R T Ramsay
- City of Perth Co-op Society Ltd
What do the authorities say about the campaigners’ claims?
ACE say there is little evidence their concerns are being taken seriously.
Dundee City Council noted the report sent in by the environmental volunteers.
“We will consider its contents carefully,” said a spokesperson.
Environmental protection body Sepa has so far made no comment.
Seonaid branded the reaction to the situation as “wishy washy”.
“It’s been beyond frustrating trying to get someone to listen to our concerns and that’s continuing,” she said.