National Citizen Service (NCS) Volunteers were out picking litter in the streets of Arthur's Hill and Upper Elswick over August.

The group of fifteen students helped to keep the area tidy as part of the summer scheme.

Residents have thanked the group for all of their efforts to help collect discarded bus tickets, fruit, and other litter from the streets.

Thank you to all of the group who got involved and joined the various local community litter picks taking place in this area.

A fly-tipper who used Gumtree and Yell to advertise his illegitimate services has been spared jail at Newcastle Crown Court.

Danny Mair, of Shield Street, used classifieds websites and social media to misleadingly advertise genuine waste removal services through different trading names.

But when customers paid him to remove items, the unlicensed Mair instead illegally dumped the waste at different locations in Newcastle.

Newcastle City Council’s environmental health team were first on his case when they discovered building waste at the former Siemens Site at Shields Road, Byker, in August last year. Boulders blocking vehicles from accessing the site had been moved to the side.

While investigations were ongoing, several more deposits were made at the same site, and further piles of waste were dumped at Heaton Park.

Upon examination, the waste was traced back to Mair’s business. He had been advertising a licensed business, collecting rubbish in a Mercedes-Benz van for cash payments, and fly-tipping instead of disposing of waste properly.

Mair pleaded guilty to two counts of fly-tipping, contrary to the Environmental Protection Act 1990, at a hearing in May, alongside a charge relating to his deceptive practices under the Consumer Protection from Unfair Trading Regulations 2008.

At Newcastle Crown Court on Friday July 26, Mair was given 18-month prison sentences for each of the fly-tipping charges, to run concurrently, suspended for two years.

He was also ordered to pay Newcastle City Council £4,254, ordered to carry out 120 hours of community work and complete a 10-day rehabilitative programme.

No separate penalty was given for the consumer protection matter.

Mair was also made subject of a two year Criminal Behaviour Order banning him from being involved in any waste disposal or transport activity for profit.

Cllr Nick Kemp, Newcastle City Council cabinet member for the environment, said: “Rogue traders like Mair continue to undermine genuine businesses and operate with complete disregard for the law.

“Their actions damage the environment, pose a danger to children and animals and cost councils up and down the country hundreds of millions of pounds a year to clean up after.

“My thanks go to our staff for bringing Mair to justice and I sincerely hope others will take this a warning that these illegal activities will never be accepted in our city.”

The city council recently launched a city-wide anti-litter campaign which highlighted the cost to the council tax payer of clearing up waste. The campaign ‘Your City, Your Home’ aims to discourage people litter and fly-tipping which last year cost the authority £2m to pick up.

School children from West Denton Primary School have shown they are true litter heroes by clearing up the area around their school today (Tuesday 9 July).

They were encouraged ‘to do their bit” to help keep Newcastle tidy as part of the Your city, your home week of activity. Other schools across the city are also taking part in clean-ups during this week.

Led by headteacher Mick Mingstones and Newcastle City Council’s Waste and Recycling Engagement Officer Lee Corby, the children were inspired to take part in this litter-pick to show that they care about our city and to stop others dropping litter.

Last year the council spent £2.2m picking up 7,000 tonnes of litter flung from cars and dropped in streets. With budgets strapped, it decided it could no longer continue to spend all this money so launched this campaign to change behaviour.

Your city, your home aims to reduce litter by asking the question - you wouldn’t drop litter in your home so why drop litter in your city which is your home?

This week of clean-up activity complements the work the city’s teams do every day. As well as the great work being done by local school children, on Monday (8 July) Cllr Nick Kemp, Cabinet Member for the Environment and Climate Change was joined by service directors and other members of staff for a clean-up of the Shields Road area. Members of staff will also get involved when they do a litter-pick around the Civic Centre later in the week.

And this weekend (Saturday 13 and Sunday 14 July) the council is encouraging local people and community groups to organise their own litter-picks and clean-ups to collectively show how proud they are of their city.

The Your city, you home campaign has its own website www.yourcityyourhome.co.uk with lots of information to help people plan their own clean-up activity, whether this is over this weekend or at any time.

This website also gives people the opportunity to promote their clean-up activity and ask others to join them. Everyone who uses social media is encouraged to use #yourcityyourhome to demonstrate Newcastle is coming together to help look after the city.

This was the shocking state of the war memorial at St Thomas’ Church found this morning by council staff.

Empty pizza, kebab and chip boxes were left strewn across the memorial near the Civic Centre.

The war memorial commemorates the men of VIth Territorial Battalion, Northumberland Fusiliers and the Royal Regiment of Fusiliers who gave their lives in the first and second world wars.

The council’s cleaning crew have since cleared up the rubbish after it was reported by staff.

Cllr Nick Kemp, Cabinet Member for the Environment and Climate Change said “People littering and fly-tipping on the streets and backlanes is bad enough but littering on a war memorial is disgraceful.

“It’s symptomatic of the problem that exists in the city with some people showing a total lack of respect and pride for their heritage.

“We recently launched a campaign – Your city, Your home, aimed at inspiring people to be proud of the city they live in.”

The council launched the campaign called Your city Your home helping to reduce the 7,000 tonnes of litter and fly-tipping that was dropped in the city last year, costing £2.2m.

If you’re interested in supporting the campaign visit www.yourcityyourhome.co.uk.

Newcastle City Council is encouraging people “to do their bit” to help keep their city tidy with a week-long community clean-up starting on Monday July 8.

Last year the council spent £2.2m picking up 7,000 tonnes of litter flung from cars and dropped in streets. With budgets strapped, it decided it could no longer continue to spend all this money so launched a campaign to change behaviour.

Your city, your home aims to reduce litter by asking the question - you wouldn’t drop litter in your home so why drop litter in your city which is your home?

A week of clean-up activity to complement the work the city’s teams do every day will be kicked off on Monday 8 July in Byker when members of the council’s Cabinet will be joined by service directors for a clean-up of the Shields Road area. Members of staff will also get involved when they do a litter-pick around the Civic Centre, and school children will hold their own litter-picks at schools during the week.

The focus will be at the weekend (Saturday 13 and Sunday 14 July) when the council is encouraging local people and community groups to organise their own litter-picks and clean-ups to collectively show how proud they are of their city.

Cllr Nick Kemp, Cabinet Member for the Environment and Climate Change said “The council spends a huge amount of money clearing-up the mess that other people leave behind.

“If we didn’t have to spend the £2.2million doing this, the money could be much better spent on other things, such as supporting 100 looked after children in foster care or filling 40,000 pots holes.

“We live in a beautiful city. Most people who live here are very proud of Newcastle and are willing to play their part in looking after it. That’s what the next part of the Your city, your home is about - celebrating those that already do this and asking others to join them to show their pride in this city by helping to keep it clean.”

The Your city, you home campaign has its own website www.yourcityyourhome.co.uk with lots of information to help people plan their own clean-up activity, whether this is over this weekend or at any time.

This website also gives people the opportunity to promote their clean-up activity and ask others to join them. Everyone who uses social media is encouraged to use #yourcityyourhome to demonstrate Newcastle is coming together to help look after the city.

Email hello@yourcityyourhome.co.uk for more information.

A Newcastle business has been ordered to pay nearly £4,000 by a court after directors and staff admitted waste offences.

Ramesh Kumar, and Fisher Street Automotive Group Ltd, the business he manages that is owned by his sons Rahul and Suraj Khosla, had admitted a string of waste crimes between them.

Kumar, who carried out the day-to-day management of his sons’ business, pleaded guilty to offences including disposing of controlled waste by burning, failing to take steps to prevent fly-tipping, and illegally using a household waste recycling centre in the course of business.

Guilty pleas were entered on behalf of FSAG in relation to five other environmental protection charges.

Punishments were handed to Kumar, of Mariners Lane, North Shields, and FSAG, for the offence involving fly-tipping only with no separate penalties for the other charges.

Newcastle Magistrates’ Court sitting at Market Street heard how on November 7 2018, a Newcastle City Council officer discovered fly-tipped waste at Whitehouse Road in Newcastle.

It consisted of car parts, tyres, a fuel tank, an empty oil drum, wood, cardboard boxes, two white sacks full of building waste, PVC windows and doors and also a dumpy bag full of car parts among other items. Upon examination, it was traced back to FSAG.

In mitigation, it was heard in court how Kumar had used a waste carrier to remove waste including scrap metal from FSAG. The waste, other than metal, had been dumped.

Magistrates imposed a £3000 fine on FSAG as well as ordering costs of £514.30 and a victim surcharge of £170 to be paid.

For his role, Kumar was fined £320 and ordered to pay £514.30 in costs and a £32 victim surcharge.

In sentencing, magistrates said: “Fly-tipping harms the environment and is unpleasant for people to see.

“We are taking the view that this is reckless. You should have known what you were doing but you didn’t take enough notice of it.”

Cllr Nick Kemp, Newcastle City Council cabinet member for the environment, said: “Everybody has a responsibility for their own waste and not being aware of the regulations is no excuse.

“In this instance, the culprits didn’t directly dump their waste for others to deal with, but did not take responsibility for that waste in accordance with law and are now facing the consequences.

“It is your duty to make sure waste is disposed of correctly and, as proved here, action will be taken against those who fail to comply.”

The city council recently launched a city-wide anti-litter campaign which highlighted the cost to the council tax payer of clearing up waste. The campaign ‘Your City, Your Home’ aims to discourage people from littering and fly-tipping which last year cost the authority £2m to pick up. Find out more at www.yourcityyourhome.co.uk

Three men have received prison sentences for committing waste offences in Newcastle.

Carl Foggo, Martin Jobes and Michael Graham were handed a total of 47 months in prison sentences at Newcastle Crown Court on Wednesday (May 22).

They had pleaded guilty to a variety of offences relating to illegal depositing and disposal of waste.

The most serious of the offences heard in court involved all three of Foggo, 29, of Swinley Gardens, Scotswood; Jobes, 48, Ridley Gardens, Gateshead; and Graham, 28, of Knott Place, Scotswood.

In November 2016, the owner of an industrial yard at Bentinck Road was approached by the three defendants, and he agreed a sum of £700 with Foggo to clear waste from the site. The court heard the waste mainly comprised refrigerator units and other kitchen equipment.

On November 29, 2016, Newcastle City Council officers on patrol in the West End of the city spotted thick, black plumes of smoke coming from the yard. On inspection, they saw Graham and Jobes burning waste with several of the fridges set alight. They both denied being responsible, the court was told.

The following day, officers returned and found Jobes and Foggo present and noted the yard was significantly cleaner. Following further enquiries, waste from the yard was discovered dumped at a disused carpark at Langham Road in the Scotswood area. Another fridge and other waste from the yard was also found abandoned at Woodstock Road.

As council staff carried out investigations into the offences, Jobes failed to attend interview appointments, Graham denied being responsible for burning waste and Foggo offered no comment.

For their involvement in this, all three were given nine-month prison sentences with remaining sentences to be served concurrently.
Foggo admitted other offences from October 2016, which also concerned illegal burning of waste at Scotswood and fly-tipping in Riversdale Way.

Jobes pleaded guilty to two other offences of fly-tipping, both at land to the west of Newburn Riverside Industrial Park.
None of them are registered as professional waste carriers or have any authorisation to dispose of waste.

Presiding Judge Sarah Mallett told the offenders: “The impact illegal waste has on the environment and the harm is causes is serious. It can also attract and then harm children and animals.
“It is a growing problem nationally and it undermines legitimate businesses and the proper and safe disposal of hazardous materials.”

Cllr Nick Kemp, Newcastle City Council cabinet member for environment, said: "The chance to make money by flouting the law has resulted in prison sentences being handed down and that is the risk people operating illegal waste businesses take.

"Their actions could have put people's health at serious risk and these tough sentences will hopefully deter others from behaving similarly.

"Regulations around waste exist to protect people and the environment and that is why those who do not operate within the law must not be allowed to continue.

"This has been a long process to bring these men to justice and I would like to praise our staff for seeing job through.

"We are in the process of trying to clean up our city and it is pleasing to see those who undermine these efforts will face the consequences."

The city council recently launched a city-wide anti-litter campaign which highlighted the cost to the council tax payer of clearing up waste. The campaign ‘Your City, Your Home’ aims to discourage people from littering and fly-tipping which last year cost the authority £2m to pick up.

A Wallsend man has been ordered to pay nearly £3,000 for illegally transporting waste in Newcastle.

Derek Jackson, 39, of Eastern Terrace, Wallsend, was found guilty of four waste offences carried out in January this year.

On 25 January, Jackson, alongside another male, was seen by Newcastle City Council enforcement officers loading metal light fittings into a black and red Ford Transit van in a car park off William Armstrong Drive. On closer inspection by the officers, more miscellaneous scrap metal was found in the vehicle.

Although initially claiming he was a licenced waste carrier in the city, he later admitted in interview he was not authorised to transport waste.

Jackson, who did not attend his hearing at Newcastle Magistrates’ Court on May 10, was found guilty of illegally operating as a scrap metal dealer, illegally transporting controlled waste, failing to take required records when dealing in scrap waste and failing to provide information to an authorised officer.

In his absence, Jackson was fined £660 for each charge. He was also ordered to pay £147 costs, £85 legal costs and £66 victim surcharge. In total, he will have to pay £2,938.

Cllr Nick Kemp, Newcastle City Council cabinet member for environment, said: “This is another strong result which demonstrates those operating outside the law will continue to be punished through the courts.

“Legitimate waste carriers require permits to operate in a controlled manner which ensures the safe collection, transit and disposal of potentially-harmful materials.

“Those who illegally carry waste operate without regulation and pose a threat to the safety of the public.

“I would like the thank the diligent work of our officers in bringing another rogue operator to justice and remind people to ensure people they employ to transport their waste have all the approval required.”

More information about the requirements around waste disposal can be found at newcastle.gov.uk/services/environment-recycling-and-waste

A thought-provoking campaign designed to stop people dropping litter was launched in Newcastle.

Your city, your home aims to reduce the 7,000 tonnes of litter and fly-tipped material people discarded in the city last year.
It cost the council £2.2m to pick up and dispose of – enough to plant 5,000 trees, fill 40,000 pot holes or support 100 looked after children in foster care placements.

The campaign’s central message is you wouldn’t drop litter in your home so why drop litter in your city.
It also warns that dropping litter – even a cigarette butt – could result in a £75 fixed penalty notice or being summonsed to court for a criminal offence.

The campaign will be rolled out on poster sites, digital screens and social media over the next few days with a series of clean-up events planned over the next few months.

Cabinet Member for the Environment, Cllr Nick Kemp, joined youngsters at Canning Street Primary in Elswick, who threw their weight behind the campaign with a litter pick around their school.

Cllr Kemp said: “Newcastle has a problem with litter like many other big cities. It spoils our neighbourhoods, damages our environment and costs a fortune to clean up.

“When we speak to residents it is always one of their biggest complaints, so we have launched this campaign to make people think of the consequences of dropping litter.

“Newcastle is a beautiful city - blessed with impressive architecture like Grey Street and many open spaces. I think most people know this, but we want everyone to recognise it and take pride in our city.

“For those who continue to drop litter the message is clear, it will cost you a packet - £75 in the form of a fixed penalty notice or potentially hundreds of pounds if you are convicted in court. It’s much easier to just use a bin.”

The authority has 19 officers with the power to issue fines for litter – as are police and police community support officers.
In recent years the council has stepped up its enforcement activities for environmental crimes.

In 2018 it issued 5,025 fixed penalty notices for dropping litter – up 77 per cent on the previous year. Prosecutions were 758 – 84 per cent higher than in 2017.

In 2017 there were 186 prosecutions for fly-tipping and waste crimes compared to 257 in 2018

The five most common types of litter are: cigarette butts, chewing gum, single use plastic bottles, cans and food packaging (eg crisp packets and take away food wrappers).

On Friday, March 22, the council will be taking part in Keep Britain Tidy’s Great British Spring Clean – calling on groups across the city to don their gloves, grab black bags, and take part in a mass litter pick.

In the summer there will be a second mass litter pick across the city that we want everyone to get involved with.
There are various things people can do if they spot litter or fly-tipping offences including:
• Report it to the council by calling 0191 2787878 and asking for Envirocall or going to www.envirocallservice.newcastle.gov.uk
• Contact Northumbria Police on 101 if you witness fly-tipping happening from a vehicle
• For hazardous waste contact the Environment Agency on 0800 80 70 60

Central to the campaign will be an interactive website where people can get involved by pledging their support, get involved with litter campaigns, leave comments and post ideas.

The website will also post regular updates on the progress of the campaign, monitor the amount of litter and fly-tipping recovered, and the number of prosecutions and fixed penalty notices issued.