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  1. ITV Report

Human excrement in plastic bags: the taxpayers' millions spent on cleaning up Wiltshire's roads

The cost of clearing up our lay-bys, roadsides and hedgerows is racking up.

Motorists and their passengers who chuck rubbish out of moving cars are costing council's millions.

The waste ranges from food debris to human excrement in carrier bags and it is not cheap to dispose of.

Food waste, car parts, and human excrement lines our region's roads. Credit: ITV News

You find all sorts from day to day. A lot of human excrement in carrier bags which isn't very pleasant. Car parts. General waste. Food waste. Packaging. It's just a disgrace, really.

– Steve Hudd, Council worker

Wiltshire Council spends £2.7m a year cleaning up. That's £200,000 more than last year because the problem is getting worse. The vast majority of that is spent on collecting roadside rubbish.

The local authority has tried increasing the number of roadside bins, but found that increased the amount of litter.

£2.7m
the amount Wiltshire Council spent clearing up our roads
Some West Country residents are clearing up the mess in their own time. Credit: ITV News

The man in charge of roads in Wiltshire is urging litterbugs to stop because it is costing local taxpayers.

Don't. Because you're wasting money. Even in Wiltshire alone, our council taxpayers are funding £2.7m. It's an environmental hazard. It's causing environmental damage to wildlife. It's remaining there for a considerable period of time until we can get round and pick it up. And that just causes a visual nuisance to visitors of Wiltshire.

– Adrian Hampton, Head of Local Highways, Wiltshire Council

In the village of Priston near Bath, they're not waiting for the council. Residents are so fed up with littered verges that they're taking matters into their own hands. In Chillcompton, they are doing the same thing.

Litter pickers are taking matters into their own hands. Credit: ITV News