Picking up the tab! More than 30 people fined almost £5,000 for dropping cigarette butts in Sunderland in new city centre crackdown

More than 30 people have been fined almost £5,000 for dropping cigarette butts in Sunderland as part of a new litter crackdown.

By Reporter
Wednesday, 17 April, 2019, 13:20

The fines of £150 each have been handed out during the first two weeks of a new drive to keep the city centre clean.

Discarded cigarette butts removed from Sunderland city centre as part of the deep clean.

Since then it said:

• 31 people have been fined £150 each for dropping cigarette butts.• One person was fined £150 for dropping a food wrapper.• One person fined £150 for dropping a sweet wrapper.• One person was fined £150 for dropping a bus ticket.• One person was fined £150 for dropping chewing gum.

As part of the deep cleaning project, the council said around 920 square metres of pavements in Park Lane has already been scrubbed and hot washed to tackle staining, gum build up and graffiti. This will continue this week before moving in to Olive Street and Derwent Street.

Stickers and flyposting has been removed from lamp posts, while grime has been hot washed off bins, seats and traffic signs in Park Lane to remove unpleasant smells.

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The deep clean of Sunderland city centre began two weeks ago.

Hundreds of cigarette butts and 0.5 tonnes of litter has also removed from bins, pavements and shrubbery in the city centre.

The fines come as the Echo continues to run its Clean Streets campaign, urging all residents to play their part in tackling the city's litter and fly-tipping problems.

Sunderland City Council's Executive Director of Neighbourhoods, Fiona Brown, said: "We want a city centre we can all be proud of and we know our residents do too. That's why we've committed to investing an additional £460,000 into frontline environmental services as part of our commitment to a clean green city."It's also why we will continue to fine anyone we catch dropping litter. No-one wants to see litter strewn pavements covered in cigarette ends or chewing gum. "Cigarette ends are full of all sorts of harmful chemicals as well as taking approximately 12 years to break down. They're also really bad for wildlife and the environment, as is chewing gum so we would urge everyone to do the right thing and use the litter bins provided or take their litter home."We've been really pleased by the positive response we've had to the clean-up from members of the public and the support we've had from our partners Sunderland Business Improvement District (BID), volunteers and from city centre businesses too."We all want to see a successful, vibrant and attractive city centre that people want to spend time in and businesses want to invest in and this in an important step to getting to where we want to be."

The council says the cleaning programme reinforces its commitment to making Sunderland a cleaner, greener city, which it is supporting with an additional £460,000 investment in frontline services.Almost 70 volunteers from businesses across the city, including Liebherr Construction, Stagecoach Bus, Sunderland College, the council, Wilko and Sunderland Business Group took part in the first day of the clean-up.

The Echo continues to run its Clean Streets campaign