MORE than 50 tonnes of litter is picked up from Wiltshire roadsides every year, it has been revealed.

According to Wiltshire Council, around 7.4 tonnes of litter has been picked up since November 8.

This equates to 563 black bin bags full of discarded rubbish.

Additionally, since April this year, the authority has had 2,000 incidents of fly-tipping reported.

Council cabinet member for street scene, transport and waste, Dr Mark McClelland said: “Sadly litter is collected from roads on a daily basis as part of the Streetscene contract for both grounds maintenance and street cleansing.

“However, this is a reduction of 19 per cent on the number of fly-tips reported at this point last year, which suggests that our ‘We’re Targeting Fly-tippers’ campaign and recent enforcement action is beginning to have an effect.

“The council spends over £2m annually on waste removal from our streets including litter picking, clearing fly-tips and emptying public litter bins.

“The cost of litter picking Wiltshire’s roads is vast yet totally avoidable if people would simply take their rubbish home with them or dispose of it in an appropriate manner.

“Aside from the cost there are significant risks associated with litter both to the environment, wildlife and the people undertaking clearance work.”

According to figures from the Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs, 2,823 fly-tipping incidents were reported to the local authority in 2019/20 – one more than the previous year.

This means that on average illegally dumped rubbish is discovered in Wiltshire eight times every day.

Dumped waste was found on Wiltshire’s roads and pavements 1,531 times accounting for 54 per cent of incidents while 444 discoveries were made on footpaths and bridleways (16 per cent).

The Local Government Association has warned that fly-tipping offences cost the taxpayer almost £50m a year for local authorities to clean up.

Environmental Charity Keep Britain Tidy says the crime is being driven by conmen who offer to remove household rubbish for a fee but do not dispose of it correctly.