FLY-TIPPING is costing taxpayers in Worcestershire and Herefordshire thousands of pounds.

Figures released by the Countryside Alliance showed how much local authorities spent on clearing rubbish dumped illegally between April 2010 and March 2011.

Locally, Malvern Hills reported it dealt with 299 instances of flytipping and estimated it spent £14,742 on removing and disposing of it.

The council did not pursue any enforcement actions so there were no successful prosecutions or fines.

Wychavon also responded to the organisation’s request for the information through the Freedom of Information Act.

The council said it dealt with 603 flytipping instances and spent £33,746 clearing them up.

There were 360 enforcement actions which cost £22,462 and resulted in two successful prosecutions and two fines of £978.

Sharon Caswell, client services manager at Wychavon District Council, said: “In the last 12 months, since September 2010, we have had fines of £3,610 and £5,585 in court costs awarded to us.

“There’s also been £650 from six penalty notices.

“We will always take action and investigate all cases where it’s in the public interest and if appropriate we will take prosecutions forward.”

Herefordshire council reported 769 instances of flytipping with around £35,883 spent clearing it up.

Officers pursued 984 enforcement actions costing £35,322 which resulted in 18 successful prosecutions and 15 fines totalling £3,690.

The Countryside Alliance said Worcester City Council had not responded to its FOI request, however the council said it had no record of receiving it.

A council spokesman said although flytipping was included in its annual Take Pride in Worcester campaign, it was not as big a problem in the city as litter.

Nationally, the Countryside Alliance said there were 75 incidences of flytipping per hour in England and Wales during 2010-11 –a total of 656,000 – which cost £66, 000 per day to clear up.

The total cost to local authorities nationwide (including clearing up and enforcing legal actions) was £40,128,197 million yet only £692,000 was collected in fines.

Alice Barnard, chief executive of the Countryside Alliance, said the Government’s Waste Review, published in the summer, had been a promising start to cracking down on flytipping. But she warned: “By raising the landfill tax in the budget and with more cuts coming to council budgets, this problem is only going to get worse.

“Flytipping is a crime that perpetrators can get away with.

“We need a coordinated plan which ensures people who fly-tip are caught and punished and provides greater support to local authorities and landowners who bear the brunt of the cost of clearing up the mess.”

Rural areas fared worst with the rate of prosecutions standing at just three in every 1,000.