More than 4,000 sacks of litter have been collected from Yorkshire’s motorways so far this year.

And the plea to drivers is: “Bin your rubbish”.

Highways workers fear some of the dumped rubbish could be a huge safety hazard if hit by a car at speed.

And there is also the soaring cost; it costs £40 to fill a sack with rubbish and that’s the same as repairing a pothole .

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Highways England’s contractors, A-one+, collected 4,018 sacks of litter from the region’s motorway network from the beginning of January to the end of April.

A bin full of rubbish abandoned on a motorway in Yorkshire

Some of the unusual items collected so far include money, push bikes, fridges, settees, and a bin full of rubbish collected from the A1(M).

In total, workers collected 13,780 sacks of litter last year – a 55% increase on 2014. This is the equivalent of 53 sacks of litter every weekday of the year and, if laid side by side, would be enough to cover the pitch at Wembley Stadium.

As the warmer weather starts to arrive, Highways England is urging motorists to tackle the problem by bagging and binning their rubbish.

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Litter thrown onto the road can cause a safety hazard to other vehicles, while the task of clearing roadside rubbish puts workers at risk. It can cost around £40 to collect each sack of rubbish from a motorway – roughly what it costs to fix a pothole.

Highways England Yorkshire spokesman Roger Wantling said: “Our contractors collect vast amounts of litter from motorways every year, but we’d much rather they spend their time carrying out other essential maintenance work.

Litter blighting Yorkshire's main roads and motorways

“The litter on our roads can cause a hazard to drivers, our workers and wildlife, so I’d urge everyone to keep a bag in their car which they can use for rubbish, and then put it in the bin when they get home.

“We are always targeting known litter hotspots and it would be great if these hotspots remained free of litter in the weeks and months ahead.”

The amount of litter collected so far this year does not include the sacks of rubbish collected by local councils who are responsible for picking up litter on dual carriageways and local roads.