Record levels of fly-tipping have left piles of fridges, sofas, washing machines, tyres and even potentially hazardous asbestos blighting the north-east landscape.
Shocking figures released by Aberdeenshire Council reveal there have been 719 instances of serious fly-tipping across the region over the last year.
That equates to nearly two a day, with the debris including everything from household appliances and building rubble to vehicles.
Buchan has emerged as the worst affected area and Peterhead the worst affected town, with 99 instances of fly-tipping, including the illegal dumping of asbestos, building waste and bulky household items.
And Fraserburgh also suffered, with 47 instances of illegal dumping.
Though a particular problem in and around major towns – with Ellon, Inverurie and Stonehaven also affected – much smaller settlements are also being blighted and no part of Aberdeenshire has escaped.
Within the Kincardine and Mearns area, council officials recorded 40 instances of building or construction waste fly-tipping.
Construction and building waste and bulky household items such as fridges, sofas and washing machines account for around a third of what is abandoned.
Vehicle tyres also feature highly, with 22 instances in the Garioch area alone and 63 overall throughout Aberdeenshire.
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Abandoned vehicles have also become an issue, with 523 reported across the region in the last year, almost a quarter of those in the Buchan area.
Chair of the council’s infrastructure services committee (ISC), Peter Argyle, said: “We are by no means the only area to be affected by fly-tipping but is a problem and we have to acknowledge that as a community and deal with it.
“Anyone who thinks fly-tipping is acceptable in their, or anyone else’s community, needs to have a bit of a look at themselves and ask why they don’t use proper means to deal with their waste.
“Most right-minded people wouldn’t even think about tipping a washing machine or random household rubbish at a quiet rural location, but clearly many people do, and we need to work together to stop it.”
The council’s network of household waste recycling centres – most within easy reach of larger communities – would accept the vast majority of the fly-tipped items.
There is also a service to take away bulky items, including a heavily-subsidized service for those on benefits.
Specialist waste such as asbestos and car tyres have to be disposed of using commercially available facilities.
ISC vice-chair John Cox added: “Communities can really assist in tackling this, in terms of being vigilant and noting down any details of related activity, the people and vehicles involved.
“Evidence is key.
“We will always follow this up and pursue prosecution where we have enough evidence to do so.”
Anyone who sees someone dumping waste illegally or finds fly-tipped materials is asked to call Wasteline with as much detail as possible on 03456 081207.