Thousands of bags of discarded litter plaguing Sunderland's streets have been collected as part of major clean-up
More than 7,500 bags worth of discarded litter have been collected from Sunderland’s pavements as 36 streets have been scrubbed, scrapped and hot washed.
The mass clean up is part of Sunderland City Council’s commitment to making the city centre cleaner, more attractive and vibrant place to be.
The council invested an additional £460,000 into frontline environmental services in April.
So far 36 streets in the city have been hot washed and scrubbed clean to tackle staining, gum build-up and graffiti.
Since April, 144 fixed penalty notices issued for dropping litter on city centre streets.
In this time, 7,686 bags worth of discarded rubbish have been collected from the city centre’s pavements and highways; 27,000 plants have been planted and 39 areas of soft landscaping maintained.
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.
Now the second phase of the project is due to begin.
Work will focus on removal of discarded chewing gum and cleaning up after night time revellers before for the start of business the following day.
This work will take place in Vine Place, Park Lane, Derwent Street/ Olive Street, High Street West, Market Square and Crowtree Road.
With the Christmas Switch-On in Keel Square as well as the launch of the Festival of Light in Mowbray Park on November 21, the team will also be making sure that the city centre is looking its very best in the run up to the festive season.
Bat surveys have already been carried out in Mowbray Park and tree surveys are underway and additional cleansing and grounds maintenance activity is also planned.
Coun Amy Wilson, cabinet member for environment and transport, said: "We want our city centre to be a clean, green and attractive place that people will want to spend time in and keep coming back to time after time.
"The first phase of the clean up has helped raise awareness of this and helped get the message across that this is something we can only hope to achieve if we all work together to keep the city centre clean.
"We're lucky to have a really dedicated city centre cleansing team. We've also had a huge amount of support for the clean up from the public, our partners at Sunderland Business Improvement District (BID), volunteers and from businesses across the city over the last six months.
"The message does seem to be getting across that we all have a responsibility to keep our city clean and that if people persist in dropping litter, those irresponsible few who spoil it for everyone else can expect to be fined for their actions.”