THREE tonnes of rubbish was removed from the side of a main route across East Dorset – only for litter to reappear on the verges within days.

Staff from Dorset Council’s waste services team spent nine nights picking up trash between the River Stour and River Avon bridges on the A31.

The effort along the eight-and-a-half mile stretch of the dual carriageway from the county border to south of Wimborne cost the local authority more than £25,000.

Council officers have now issued a strong message urging “lazy and irresponsible” people to clean up their act following the litter picking programme throughout April.

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Mike Moon, Dorset Council’s head of waste operations, said: “This programme of litter-picking cost Dorset Council just over £25k, including our employees and external traffic management. This is money that would be far better spent on essential public services, but instead we have to use it to pay for picking up lazy and irresponsible people’s rubbish.”

The waste services team released the image of all the rubbish collect on social media, and said that more litter had already started to appear again.

“It’s clear that some of the waste has come from unsecured loads on industrial/commercial vehicles, but the principle is the same as if someone litters from a car or van,” added Mr Moon. “Any waste that gets discarded incorrectly – purposely or not – is treated as litter, has a massive environmental impact and the driver is liable to enforcement action.

“Residents can report litter problems, fly-tipping and rubbish being thrown from a vehicle on our website.

“In the meantime, we want to thank the vast majority of motorists for taking their litter home and disposing of it responsibly using their household bins.”