THE country may be in lockdown, but that sadly has not deterred flytippers as cases continue to surge - with a big bag of human excrement among items illegally dumped in the Scottish countryside.

Scottish Land & Estates (SLE), the rural business membership organisation, has drawn up a list of the top 10 most random items their members, which include farmers and estate owners, have reported being found among piles of rubbish dumped illegally on their property since lockdown.

The 10 most random items found among illegally dumped rubbish on SLE members’ properties are:

  1. Black bin bag of human excrement (found in Angus)
  2. 40 empty vodka bottles (Aberdeenshire)
  3. Unicorn ride-on toy (Aberdeenshire)
  4. Clinical waste in white bags (Falkirk)
  5. Pickaxe head (Stirling)
  6. Commode chair (Aberdeenshire)
  7. Old driveway (Midlothian)
  8. 4 X 20 litre empty oil drums (Perth & Kinross)
  9. Christmas card (still in its wrapper) (Ayrshire)
  10. Bag of chips (Aberdeenshire)

SLE has 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 & recycling centres to re-open if social distancing measures can be safely met – as has recently been seen in England.

Sarah-Jane Laing, chief executive of Scottish Land & Estates said: “At a time when rural businesses are being hit hard financially, it is heartbreaking that people continue to think it is OK 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. At a time 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. 

“We are extremely concerned about the damage flytipping is causing to Scotland’s environment, the harm it can cause to animals and wildlife and the overall public and private cost of cleanup. 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.

“That’s why we are calling on the Scottish Government to allow local tips to reopen if social distancing measures can be followed safely by staff and the public. We also want assurances that landowners who have been a victim of flytipping will not have to pay to dispose of the rubbish, which unbelievably sometimes happens.”

Some of Scotland’s local authorities already uplift flytipped waste on private land as long as it is reasonably near public land. Where feasible and resources allow, SLE is calling for this supportive approach to be taken by all 32 Scottish local authorities.

Sarah-Jane concluded: “The message to the public is clear: if your bin is overflowing or you are having a clear-out, please keep your rubbish on your own property until the tips reopen. How would you feel if you had to clear up someone else’s asbestos, dirty nappies or human faeces from your property?”

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