Thousands of homes in Perth and Kinross have no recycling bins, new research by The Courier has found.
More than 4,000 houses and flats in the region have only general waste facilities, 3,165 of them in Perth.
And more than half of the 3,459 residential properties in Perth city centre have no recycling bins.
Some 847 properties have no bins at all, meaning residents have to leave sacks of rubbish on the pavements for collection and risk them being ripped open by scavenging gulls, leaving waste strewn through the streets.
The local authority has defended the lack of bins, saying too many would make streets inaccessible to wheelchair users. It is also carrying out a pilot scheme testing communal bins for city centre properties.
Mark Ruskell, Green MSP for Mid Scotland and Fife, hit out at the lack of recycling, in the midst of a global effort to reduce single-use plastic.
“It is a scandal that more than half of all properties in Perth city centre, and more than 4,000 throughout the council area, have no kerbside recycling facilities,” he said.
“In 2018 it’s simply not good enough that the council sends all the waste from 4,000 households straight to landfill.
“It’s time for Perth and Kinross Council to get its act together and live up to its recycling obligations.”
The figures were obtained following a Freedom of Information request by The Courier.
Although largely a city issue, the scarcity of bins was also prevalent in other areas of Perthshire.
In Crieff, 443 properties had no recycling facilities while 1,164 have one bin for paper and recycling but nothing for food or garden waste.
Some 188 homes in Blairgowrie have no recycling bins and 1,705 only own a paper and plastic bin. Highland Perthshire fared better as only 62 properties depend on a general waste bin, although 1,615 have no facilities for food and garden waste.
Conservative councillor Angus Forbes, convener of environment and infrastructure, hit back at Mr Ruskell.
He said: “We remain in the top quartile for household recycling rates, at seventh )in Scotland).
“We have seen a 3% increase since 2010/11 to 55% in 2016/17.
“If Mark Ruskell wants us to fill the streets of Perth with a multitude of bins then he can explain to wheelchair users why they can’t get around.
“When you are in administration, you need to balance the views of everyone. Given their performance at the last election, it’s unlikely that the Green party will ever find themselves having to do that.”
Last year, the local authority collected 9,776 tonnes of household recycling from plastic and paper recycling bins.
Officers are looking at expanding the use of communal bins in the city centre following a year-long trial in New Row and Scott Street.