Fly-tippers cost Cheshire West and Chester council £3.1 million a year, it’s been revealed.

The figure is enough for the council to purchase 470,000 library books.

Now, ahead of Keep Britain Tidy’s Great September Clean campaign, councillors are appealing for help in tackling the issue.

Cllr Karen Shore, CWAC cabinet member for environment, highways and strategic transport, said: “£3.1 million is an incredible amount of money, based on our expenditure to clear both littering and fly-tipping for the financial year 2019/20.

“Money could be spent elsewhere if litter and fly-tipping didn’t exist. We all need to play our part by putting our rubbish in a bin or taking it home if one isn’t available.

“We have a large number of volunteers who regularly litter-pick across west Cheshire to help keep our borough looking beautiful all year – I’d like to take this opportunity to thank them most sincerely for all they do.”

The campaign, which runs until September 27, encourages individuals and small, socially distanced, community groups to get involved by giving their neighbourhoods a thorough clean-up.

In the first three months of the year, 995 fly tipping incidents were reported in the borough, compared to 1,194 in the same period for 2019.

Currently, seven CWAC recycling centres remain open to the public, with all of them opening at weekends.