Litter crusaders have warned Angus is being turned into a “giant rubbish tip” by rogue dumpers.
Conservation volunteers say they fear rising levels of fly-tipping and littering across the county could have a negative impact on wildlife and visitors to the region.
An investigation was carried out by Angus Clean Environments (ACE) following a number of high-profile fly-tipping incidents — including a one-tonne bag of hazardous asbestos that was found at Monikie.
ACE coordinator Sandie Wright said the group was “ashamed and sad” to see the damage that litter and fly-tipping was doing to the area.
“Sadly, litter and fly-tipping are turning Angus into a giant rubbish tip and this will have an effect on visitor experience, in addition to adversely affecting the health and well-being of local residents and wildlife,” she said.
“Tourism is a key sector of the economy in Angus and it is therefore essential that we have an environment that is cared for.”
The investigation highlighted the main tourist route from Dundee to Glamis where an armchair, a mattress, concrete blocks, tyres, glass and clothing were found dumped from the A90 right up to the A928.
Sandie said: “In summer months there is a constant stream of coaches and cars passing along this route with visitors admiring our beautiful Scottish countryside.
“The cost to Angus Council to deal with cleaning up after us is enormous – taxpayers’ money that could be put to good use elsewhere.
“The council staff try hard to respond promptly to reported fly tipping incidents and community volunteer groups and individuals work alongside the council with initiatives such as Adopt-A-Street and ACE. But, unless every one of us becomes involved and helps to change our throw-away, drop it on the ground society, the problem won’t go away.
“I’m proud of our Scottish countryside, it is what visitors come to see and enjoy but if there’s a litter problem people just won’t want to come here.”
The Angus pressure group was established after Arbroath hosted the first community-led litter summit in Scotland in November 2017.
According to the environment charity Keep Britain Tidy, it costs the taxpayer more than £850 million a year to clear up roadside rubbish.
A spokesman for Angus Council said: “We fully support the excellent work of ACE and have been working in close collaboration with them to try and address key environmental issues in Angus.
“We are fortunate in Angus to have a large number of community groups and volunteers who take a pride in where they live and actively clean up litter in their communities.
“Regrettably, there is still a section of the population that continue to litter and cause a considerable blight on the Angus rural and urban environments.
“Roadside litter is a particular problem – cleaning up the verges along our roads can be challenging and high-risk, which is why we strongly support the Keep Scotland Beautiful national message to “give your litter a lift, take it home”.
“Dropping litter is an offence in Scotland. Anyone dropping litter could receive a fixed penalty notice of £80. You can report a litter problem to us online, where you can also report incidents of fly-tipping. With enough evidence fixed penalty notices of £200 can be issued for flytipping and courts can impose a penalty of up to £40,000.”