Litter pickers see rise in PPE and human waste dumped on roadsides in Dumfries and Galloway

  • Video report by Ralph Blumson.


Litter pickers in Dumfries and Galloway say they've seen a huge rise in rubbish being dumped by the sides of roads since the start of the pandemic.

The volunteers are condemning those who do it and say people are acting irresponsibly.

Among the discarded waste is gloves, face masks, bottles of hand sanitiser, fast food wrappings and even human waste.

It's almost as if the pandemic has given people the green light to throw plastic and bottles and cans onto the highway.

Mark Jardine, litter picker.

Volunteers, like landscape artist Minette Bell McDonald, say they want people to start looking after their local landscapes. She told ITV Border: "The problem is really appalling and depressing and shocking and rather shameful."

She continued: "I have seen a lorry parked three feet away from a large dustbin and as he left there was a urine bottle, loo roll and various assorted other items chucked out of his window and he only had three feet to walk to get to the bin. I feel furious about it, it's so lazy and idle and it's so selfish." 

Litter picker Minette Bell Mcdonald. Credit: ITV News

Mark Jardine is also a volunteer who has been picking up litter for 13 years. He regularly clears the rubbish on his daily commute to work.

He said: "Prior to the start of the pandemic I was removing about one sack of detritus per week. That has now increased to about three and a half to four bags per week which I find astonishing.  

"It's almost as if the pandemic has given people the green light to throw plastic and bottles and cans onto the highway."

The Government funded agency Zero Waste Scotland is urging people to bin their litter or take it home.