Calls have been made to change “unjust” laws that leave farmers liable for clearing rubbish dumped on their land.
Landowners will only be compensated for the costs of removing waste from their property if those responsible are identified, under current legislation.
Scottish Conservative MSP Murdo Fraser has called for changes to the law and asked the Scottish Government if the rules were “fair”.
Those caught dumping in non-designated recycling centres can be fined as much as £40,000.
Reports of fly-tipping and rogue rubbish dumping have rocketed since the lockdown forced councils to close recycling centres.
Perpetrators have left unwanted waste, washing machines and sofas on farm land and quiet roads, but the problem has existed long before skips and waste centres were closed down.
Problem worsened by lockdown
Environment secretary Roseanna Cunningham said the coronavirus crisis had “exacerbated” the problem of fly-tipping.
She said: “We are engaged in a continuing conversation with Sepa, which is looking closely at a variety of ways of addressing the issue.
“It is clear that the problem has been exacerbated by the most recent experience. I understand why landowners are frustrated when, by law, they become responsible for what is on their land, but Murdo Fraser will know that such responsibilities are embedded in the law in Scotland.
“The big issue becomes how to manage the situation, make identifications and carry out enforcement.
“Compensation provision is available but that, of course, requires the individuals who have carried out the act to be identified.
“I have had a conversation with Sepa not about the specific issue that Murdo Fraser has raised but about the wider issue of what has been happening over the past couple of months and I have asked Sepa to look at whether there are different and better ways of managing the situation. I expect that conversation to continue.”
Following the debate, Mr Fraser added: “It is a huge source of frustration to farmers that they can be held liable for rubbish someone else dumps on their land illegally.
“This law needs reviewed urgently and I will be pressing the Scottish Government to address it.”