THE banks of Loch Long have been left covered in rubbish following weeks of storms and heavy tides.
Council workers were today began a week-long clean-up effort to remove the thick swathe of debris from the beach area at the head of the tidal loch in Arrochar, Argyll and Bute.
Hundreds of plastic bottles and containers, planks of wood and even tree trunks were dumped on the shoreline, tangled up in tonnes of seaweed.
Councillor George Freeman said: “The amount of material that has settled is pretty horrendous, but the local council have a large amount of support on the go with workers and machinery on-site to deal with the mess.
“This is a problem we face every year, and given all the storms which have hit Scotland over the last few weeks the amount of material is expected.
“The problem is that while there’s lots of plastic and rope and other debris which could normally be quickly sorted, it’s all mixed up with the seaweed, so it’s just not realistic for the workers to go through and separate it.
“The only way to manage it is to lift it all and take it to landfill.
“The people clearly accept that it’s an ongoing problem but because of the extent of the problem it’s a lot more severe and people are pushing to get it sorted.
“They wouldn’t be happy if they thought there was no working being done to clean up the mess but fortunately that’s not the case here.”
The clean-up is expected to take about a week to be completed.
A spokeswoman for Argyll and Bute Council said: “We don’t have an idea of tonnage yet but we’re talking about at least four truck-loads of rubbish which will need to be sent to landfill.”