Pressure is intensifying for the re-opening of council skip sites after it emerged a bin bag of human excrement has been dumped in Angus during lockdown.
The disgusting discovery was top of a catalogue of shame revealed by a rural business group which has said its members, including farmers and estate owners, are being left to clean up increasing amounts of fly-tipped rubbish during the pandemic restrictions.
Councillors in Angus and Fife have already mounted calls for clarity on the re-opening of recycling centres, urging the Scottish Government to follow recent moves south of the border.
Scottish Land & Estates has now also written to Roseanna Cunningham, the Cabinet Secretary for Environment, Climate Change and Land Reform calling for commitment from the Scottish Government to allow local household waste and recycling centres to re-open if social distancing measures can be safely met.
The body said the rise in fly-tipping had included the dumping of 40 vodka bottles, a children’s ride-on unicorn and a commode, in separate Aberdeenshire incidents.
Clinical waste was discovered in Falkirk and potentially hazardous empty oil drums in Perth and Kinross.
SLE chief executive Sarah-Jane Laing said: “At a time when rural businesses are being hit hard financially, it is heartbreaking that people continue to think it is okay to dump their rubbish on other people’s property in the countryside, leaving the owner of the land to foot the bill to clean it up.
“When farmers and rural businesses are working harder than ever to produce vital food supplies, protect the environment and support jobs in their local communities, this is an unnecessary burden to deal with.
“Employees at farms and rural businesses suffering from flytipping are also being placed at risk, having to remove what could potentially be hazardous material and taking on extra work at a time when we are being encouraged to only travel when it is absolutely essential.”
A Scottish Government spokesperson said: “Local authorities are responsible for local waste services including kerbside collections and the operation of recycling centres.
“Councils need to consider several factors before restarting services, including how to operate safely, ensure physical distancing is maintained and discourage the public from making unnecessary journeys.
“While those maintaining essential waste services in Scotland work hard in difficult circumstances, no one should be fly-tipping. It is illegal, dangerous and unnecessary.
“We are working closely with Cosla and local authorities on the development of a wider position statement regarding the prioritisation of waste services and are also discussing what further guidance and practical steps on recycling centres may be required.”