IN JUST one year our local authorities in this south east corner of Wales have had to fork out £279,071 clearing up rubbish dumped illegally at roadsides and elsewhere.

That is a significant amount of money which could be much better spent elsewhere were it not for the minority of people who seem to think it is acceptable to dump their rubbish anywhere they see fit.

Across Wales the amount spent by councils in 2012-2013 ran to £1.8m.

What a sorry state of affairs.

At a time when local authorities are having to work really hard to find savings, trying their best not to affect frontline services, this sort of abuse must be really disheartening.

Newport city council had the third highest spend out of the 22 Welsh authorities with a massive clean-up bill of £149,791 in a year.

That is the result of having to deal with 1,982 separate fly tipping incidents in the city, which is an awful lot of people who seem to think this is acceptable.

There really is no excuse for such behaviour.

Fly-tipping is totally unjustifiable but we can understand why the number of prosecutions seems relatively low.

However, a campaign to do just that, might send out a warning to others that it is unacceptable - especially if the perpetrators were then made to pick up the bill for clearing up the mess they have left behind.