ILLEGAL dumpers cost Denbighshire council more than £500,000, the highest in North Wales.
Denbighshire County Council spent £533,246 dealing with 15,890 reports of dumped waste from April 2008 to March 2013.
The council has spent the most on clearing up fly-tipped rubbish compared to the five other counties in North Wales but has also carried out the most prosecutions, with 15 successful court actions, leading to £4,430 in fines, plus one fly-tipper jailed for eight months.
Fly-tipping is said to be falling in the county, with 2,144 cases in 2012-13, compared in a high of 5,189 in 2009.
This was revealed through a Freedom Of Information request by Antoinette Sandbach AM, shadow rural affairs minister.
“Council tax payers are having to fork out to clear up other people’s dumped rubbish, which is just not acceptable,” said Ms Sandbach.
“Often a council-run recycling centre was near to the fly-tip site, and I question why people simply couldn’t take their rubbish there.
“Where it is trade waste – such as after building work – the householder does have a duty of care to ensure that items are disposed of properly.
“However it may be some rogue traders are assuring customers the waste is being taken to an official recycling centre - and charging them for it as well – only to dump it illegally.
“I am pleased to see councils are increasingly using fixed penalty notices, formal cautions and statutory notices if they can trace who has fly-tipped rubbish by checking personal details in the waste – that saves the time and cost of court action. But sometimes it is only the threat of a criminal conviction that stops these people littering our towns and countryside,” added Ms Sandbach.
The most common items that are fly-tipped include black bags, though this is decreasing with black wheelie bins.
Unusual items found include a portacabin to rubber ducks and plastic fish with hooks through their heads.
“The most common place for people to fly-tip seems to be footpaths and bridleways, turning what should be a pleasant route for walkers, cyclers and riders into a dump and potential health hazard,” said Ms Sandbach.
A Denbighshire Council spokesman said: "Environmental crime is a blight on our landscape and will not be tolerated. We take robust action to find the culprits responsible for fly tipping and bring them to justice.”