A dumper who caused an eyesore for neighbours in Sunderland has been hit with a fine after being tracked down by their own rubbish.
The offender, from Millfield, who has not been named, has been served with a fixed penalty notice for £350 after admitting repeatedly dumping waste in the back lane near his home.
Action was taken by environmental enforcement officers after complaints of large qualities of black bags being dumped in the back lane of Pensher Street and Chester Road.
Initial enquiries drew a blank, but fly-tip investigation officers continued to monitor the area and discovered more bags of household waste in the back lane in November, including one which contained evidence linking it to a householder in Pensher Street.
This resulted in the householder being interviewed under caution, during which they admitted depositing a number of bags of household waste several times a week in any available bin in the back lane, and to dumping it next to the trade waste bins at the bottom of Chester Road if they couldn't find an empty bin in their own back lane.
It later emerged that despite having rubbish and recycling bins in their own back yard, the householder didn't use these because of problems with a roller shutter door into the back lane.
In response to complaints about litter and flytipping in the city, the Echo has launched its Clean Streets campaign aimed at getting people more involved in cleaning up in Sunderland.
Councillor Michael Mordey, cabinet member for City Services, said: "This was a case of rubbish being repeatedly dumped in a back lane, making it an eyesore for everyone who lives there so I'm delighted that our environmental enforcement officers have been able to track down the person responsible and take action against them.
"I hope that this action sends out a strong message to everyone that we will not tolerate this type of behaviour in our city, and those responsible will be identified and held to account.
"In this case we agreed to serve the householder a fixed penalty notice rather than take them to court but if they don't pay up we will take court action which could result in a fine of up to £50,000.
“The vast majority of Sunderland residents are very responsible and take a real pride in their community but there are always a few who spoil it for everyone else by dropping litter or dumping their waste which is why we have taken action.
"We’d also encourage anyone who does see anyone fly tipping or dropping litter to report it to https://www.sunderland.gov.uk/article/12416/Report-fly-tipping."
Since April 2017 Sunderland City Council's Environmental Enforcement Team has carried out 4168 investigations into environmental crimes across the city, including littering, dog fouling and fly-tipping.
This has resulted in 450 formal warnings being issued, 3 statutory notices and 86 Fixed Penalty Notices being served and 43 costs charged for clearance.