Littering day of action in Sunderland

A day of action was carried out in Sunderland to combat illegal littering in the area.

A joint operation by The Environment Agency and the Driver and Vehicles Standards Agency was carried out to do stop checks on vehicles carrying waste.

The Environment Agency and the Driver and Vehicles Standards Agency litter action day. The Environment Agency team from left, Lucy Collier, Andrew Rothery, Elsa McConnell and Rachael Caldwell.

The Environment Agency and the Driver and Vehicles Standards Agency litter action day. The Environment Agency team from left, Lucy Collier, Andrew Rothery, Elsa McConnell and Rachael Caldwell.

The aim was to crackdown on vehicles illegally littering on major road networks and in residential areas.

Vehicles carrying litter to waste sites have a duty to ensure that all litter is secure whilst in transit and that none escapes onto the roads, causing not only illegal pollution of the environment, but also causing a danger to other road users.

Rachael Caldwell, Senior Officer in the Environment Agency’s North East Waste and Enforcement Team, said: "Residents and drivers have made complaints about unsecure waste falling from vehicles transporting the waste to local sites.

"We have a duty to ensure that waste is transported safely at all times and that waste companies and drivers understand the legal implications of not dealing with waste correctly and in line with Government guidelines.

Environment Agency senior officer Rachael Caldwell.

Environment Agency senior officer Rachael Caldwell.

"The guidelines are there to protect both the environment and the public. This day of action with the DVSA is one of many initiatives that we use to ensure that waste is dealt with legally in the right way."

DVSA Enforcement Delivery Manager Tracey Hall said: “DVSA’s priority is protecting everyone from unsafe drivers and vehicles.

"Loose debris on Britain’s roads damages the environment and puts other roads users in danger.

"By working with the Environment Agency, we can make sure drivers and operators secure their loads and take action against those who don’t."

Officers carry out spot checks on vehicles.

Officers carry out spot checks on vehicles.

The main layby on the westbound A1231 Sunderland Highway, on the stretch of road from the A19 nearside junction to Pattinson Road, was closed this morning by the Environment Agency in order to observe vehicles carrying loads of waste and identify where a crime may be being committed.

The DVSA has the power to stop vehicles and issue a fixed penalty notice for an unsecure load.

The Environment Agency was ensuring waste carriers had the correct registrations and that waste was described and transported correctly. The Environment Agency is able to take an investigation or prosecution forward if deemed necessary.

The A1231 is a key road in the region and officers from the Environment Agency and DVSA observed hundreds of vehicles travelling along the busy route.