Charges for bulky waste collections in South Tyneside could be slashed as council bosses look at new ways to tackle fly-tipping in the borough.
Reducing the current £24 charge for having up to eight items removed is seen as a key factor in a plan to combat a problem which is blighting some parts of South Tyneside.
A phone app is also being worked on to make it easier for people to report fly-tipping.
Other recommendations being looked at include:
* A pilot scheme in town centre areas, with a “no tolerance” approach to littering.
* More effective use of CCTV in catching offenders.
There’s many of times I’ve been in Temple Park and the trees look like they’ve been decorated for Christmas with the amount of bags tied to them.Coun Bill Brady
* A campaign highlighting the costs of cleaning up and disposing of litter and what that money could have been used for.
* Developing a “community challenge” where people are asked to come up with innovative ideas for tackling the issue.
* Participating in national campaigns such as the National Spring Clean and Love Your Park.
The plan to tackle fly-tipping, litter and dog fouling emerged yesterday at the West Shields, Cleadon, Boldon and Whitburn Community Area Forum.
Council officer Paul Baldasera told the meeting: “We are undertaking a review of bulky waste, looking at the affordability issue.
“For some people, it’s not really an option. It can be a lot of money to someone on a limited income.”
He also added that the introduction of a phone app is being worked on.
He said it is hoped this will be launched some time in 2018.
Work, he said, is also being done to educate young people on the effects of littering.
Coun Bill Brady agreed with but asked what was being done about educating older people.
He said: “I agree children should be taught about the effects of littering but what about the older generation?
“I go down street and I have seen people throwing half eaten food on the ground when there are bins - these are adults.
“It’s not always the young people. I’ve even seen young people pick cans up off the ground and put them in the bin.
“The other big thing is dog litter. You see dog walkers with their bags but then they tie them to a tree.
“There’s many of times I’ve been in Temple Park and the trees look like they’ve been decorated for Christmas with the amount of bags tied to them.”
South Tyneside Council wished to make no further comment on the issue.