Seven fly-tippers from South Tyneside have been slapped with a total fine of more than £2,000 by magistrates.
South Tyneside Magistrates Court heard that a community-spirited witness spotted a man dumping waste at the bottom of Slake Road, in Jarrow.
Letters inside the bags led officers from South Tyneside Council’s environmental health team to identify Ryan Stephen, 20, of Saxon Way, in Jarrow.
He was fined £440, to which a victim surcharge of £44 was added, and he was ordered to pay £100 costs.
Magistrates also found the case proven against 24-year-old Marc Hartley, of Titian Avenue, South Shields.
The court was told that domestic waste sacks had been abandoned at the side of Sunniside Road on the run-up to local beauty spot Cleadon Hills.
Environmental health officers found letters to the defendant among the waste and served a notice, but Hartley ignored this, committing an offence under section 110 of the Environment Act.
Magistrates fined him £250, plus a victim surcharge of £25, and ordered him to pay costs of £100.
Dawn Prudham, 20, and 19-year-old Chantelle Little, of South Frederick Street, in South Shields, were also fined after the case against them was proven.
The court was told that they were identified by some of the waste which was abandoned in a flower bed close to their home.
They ignored a formal notice from the council to attend an interview, resulting in them committing an offence.
They were fined £120 each and ordered to pay a victim surcharge of £20 and £100 costs each.
Jamie Henderson, 31, and Melissa Kennedy, 25, both of Devonshire Street, in South Shields, were each fined £120 for illegally dumping waste close to their home.
Despite repeated warnings, the defendants ignored the notices issued to them, and the council took them to court.
In addition to the fine, magistrates ordered both to pay a £20 victim surcharge and costs of £100.
Samantha Brown, 28, of Alice Street, South Shields, was fined a total of £500 in total for two offences – one for illegally dumping rubbish in a flower bed and another for failing to clear her back yard of rubbish.
The court was told that Brown was identified by letters in her name among the waste that had been illegally dumped.
An investigation discovered that she had been served a notice earlier last year for failing to clear bagged domestic rubbish from her back yard.
Despite warnings, she failed to contact the council, who took her to court.
The court was also told that she had been issued with a notice under the Prevention of Damage by Pests Act, requesting her to clear her yard of rubbish and dispose of it at a registered waste disposal facility.
However, the defendant took no action and the yard was eventually cleared by the council at a cost of £165.
She was fined £250 for each offence and ordered to pay a victim surcharge of £50, compensation of £165 and costs.
A spokesman for South Tyneside Council said: “South Tyneside Council spends £2.2million per year keeping the borough clean and tidy for the benefit of the vast majority of our residents.
“There is no excuse for people not to dispose of their rubbish properly.
"There are significant costs involved in clearing and investigating this type of illegal disposal of waste, which places a burden on the finances of the council and ultimately the taxpayer.
“The public have a vital role to play in helping the council to keep the borough safe and attractive, and we greatly appreciate their help in bringing offenders to justice.
"We would encourage anyone who witnesses any incidents of fly-tipping to report it to the council in confidence.”
For more information about the many ways waste can be safely responsibly disposed of in South Tyneside, visit www.southtyneside.gov.uk/wasteandrecycling or call the council's Customer Contact Centre on 0191 427 7000.