Councils recorded 127,625 incidents over two years, with spikes after the pandemic hit the nation and lockdown shut tips. Fly-tipping peaked in Scotland as a whole in July 2020.

Aberdeen, Aberdeenshire and Moray saw sharp increases after lockdown while Highland recorded an increase just before.

The council breakdowns show there were 7,704 incidents in Aberdeen, 1,853 in Aberdeenshire, 3,952 in Highland and 547 in Moray.

Ms Nolan, candidate in Caithness, Sutherland and Ross, highlighted concerns raised by farmers’ union president Andrew McCornick in January.

He called the problem an “abhorrent crime” and called for more help to tidy up hazardous materials and food waste.

According to the Scottish Environment Protection Agency, the annual clear-up costs more than £2.5 million in urban and rural areas.

Andrea Bradley, assistant general secretary of the Educational Institute of Scotland, said teachers had been “caught by surprise” by the decision to have children in primary 4-7 return full time from Monday, along with the part-time return of secondary pupils.

The milestone was not expected to be reached until after the Easter holidays in April but on March 2, the day before Ms Sturgeon appeared at the Holyrood inquiry, the first minister announced plans would move along at a quicker pace.

Appearing on BBC Scotland’s Sunday Show, Ms Bradley said the surprise announcement led to increased workloads for teachers and she was aware of one secondary headteacher on the 74th version of his timetable this academic year.

Asked by host, Martin Geissler, why she thought the Scottish Government had accelerated the return, Ms Bradley said: “There certainly has been quite strong lobbying for that from some quarters and certainly from our point of view we felt that the decision seemed to be more of a political one, rather than one that was based on sound educational principle.

© Scotland Matters