Council chiefs have appealed for help to catch fly-tippers who illegally dumped a large quantity of used engine oil - leaving taxpayers to pick up the bill.
South Tyneside Council is investigating after two tanks containing around 1,000 litres of used engine oil was dumped at West Holborn, just off Commercial Road in South Shields.
It is believed the material was fly-tipped on Tuesday evening or Wednesday morning.
Coun Nancy Maxwell, the council's lead member for area management and community safety, slammed those responsible, saying: “Dumping waste in this way is hugely irresponsible.
"The operation to remove these containers was both complex and costly – an additional burden which ultimately will have to be borne by the borough’s taxpayers.
“We are committed to taking action against the tiny minority of people whose reckless actions blight the beauty of our communities. However, we need the public’s support.
"A vehicle must have been used in this incident, so we are asking people who may have a description or registration details to get in touch with us.”
To provide information or to report any fly-tipping incident, members of the public can contact South Tyneside Council’s Customer Contact Centre on (0191) 427 7000.
All calls will be treated in the strictest confidence.
Residents are reminded they can legally and safely dispose of their rubbish at the Recycling Village at Middlefield Industrial Estate in South Shields.
It is open every day except Christmas Day. The facility is usually open between 9am and 6pm but will have extended opening times of 8am to 6pm from Saturday, December 22, to Sunday January 6.
For further information on disposing of waste, visit the council's website HERE.