Two tonnes of waste collected in Sunderland as part of clean up programme in city

Clean up work being carried out in Sunderland city centre.
Clean up work being carried out in Sunderland city centre.

More than two tonnes of waste have been collected in the first month of a deep clean operation in Sunderland.

The clean-up, which is part of the council's commitment to making the city centre a cleaner, more attractive and vibrant place to be, has seen:

- 12,285 square metres of pavements over seven streets - Park Lane, Olive Street, Derwent Street, Cowan Terrace, Vine Place, Green Terrace and Crowtree Road - scrubbed clean and hotwashed to tackle staining, gum build up and graffiti.

- 54 people fined for dropping litter on city centre streets, including:

49 people fined for dropping cigarette ends
One person fined for dropping chewing gum
Two people fined for dropping food wrappers
One person fined for dropping a bus ticket
One person fined for dropping a sweet paper

Cigarette butts collected as part of the clean up work.

Cigarette butts collected as part of the clean up work.

Read more: More than 30 people fined almost £5,000 for dropping cigarette butts in Sunderland in new city centre crackdown

Over the next few weeks the deep clean is moving on to Crowtree Road, Holmeside, Green Terrace, Waterloo Place, Union Street, Market Square, Athenaeum Street and Fawcett Street as the city centre gears up for its summer events programme, beginning with the Sunderland City Run Festival weekend on May 11 and 12.

This will be followed by the visit of iconic 90s girl power band, The Spice Girls, to the Stadium of Light on June 6 and the Sunderland Food and Drink Festival, featuring Michelin starred chef Jean-Christophe Novelli, Katy Ashworth from CBeebies and Dean Edwards TV chef and author, from Friday 21 - Sunday 23 June.

Fiona Brown, executive director of neighbourhoods at Sunderland City Council, said: "We've got a fantastic programme of events lined up to attract people into the city centre over the summer and keep them coming back.

"So we want to make sure that its looking its best and the deep clean is an important part of that.

"We've had a huge amount of support for what we're doing from our partners at Sunderland Business Improvement District (BID), volunteers from businesses across the city, our own staff, city centre businesses and most importantly from residents.

"The message does seem to be getting through that we all have a responsibility to keep our city clean and that if people persist in dropping litter, the irresponsible few who spoil things for everyone else can expect to be fined for their actions.

"We're also continuing to support city centre businesses with help and advice on how best to manage and dispose of their trade waste. We all want a city centre we can be proud of and we all need to work together to achieve that."

The council says it has invested an additional £460,000 into frontline environmental services as part of its commitment to a clean green city in response to residents' feedback.

Bosses say this has helped fund more environmental officers on the ground, specialist cleansing equipment to tackle persistent issues like chewing gum and more enforcement activity to tackle litter and waste storage issues.

The work comes as the Echo continues its Clean Streets campaign, which calls on Wearsiders to take care of their own rubbish by disposing of it properly, thereby creating a cleaner and more welcoming city for all.

Clean up work being carried out in Sunderland city centre.

Clean up work being carried out in Sunderland city centre.

Clean Streets.

Clean Streets.