A furious Washington resident dumped a pile of rubbish at Sunderland City Council’s headquarters in protest over the amount of litter in his neighbourhood.
David Render, who gives up his time regularly to clean streets, says that the litter problem in Washington “is getting worse by the day”.
Last week we reported how the 54-year-old had accused Sunderland City Council of leaving areas of the city overflowing with rubbish.
Now Mr Render has taken his campaign a step further by leaving a pile of litter in the reception area of Sunderland Civic Centre.
The rubbish was then picked up by “volunteer litter pickers sick of the mess”.
“It was carefully selected to make sure it was all not toxic, and would not cause any damage,” Mr Render said.
“This was simply a protest over the state Washington is now in.
“The litter was picked up from an area of Glebe village in Washington .”
He claimed the litter in the area was becoming a “public health issue”, with food and dog mess in bags left on the ground when bins go unemptied.
“Sunderland council claim if an overflowing bin is reported it is emptied within five working days, but in Washington it can take them as long as 14 days, and within two days can be overflowing again.
“The litter delivered to Sunderland was their property as it fell out of their bins. Hopefully they will empty the bins now, and we can get our town tidy again.
“I have tried for months to get them to do their duty and keep the place tidy and they ignored me.”
Mr Render has also set up a Facebook group – Washington in Decline – to highlight litter problems in the town.
A Sunderland City Council spokesperson said: “The council was aware that this incident may happen.
“Although we have the ability to take this matter further, it’s not something the council is proposing to do.
“We always try to engage with all residents wherever possible rather than taking any punitive action.
“Therefore the council is writing to this man in the hope of having a productive dialogue as an alternative to any formal action – as that is not in anyone’s interest.
“I would like to remind the man in question and all residents of the city that the situation we find ourselves in is a direct consequence of Government austerity measures.
“However, despite the best efforts of council officers and elected members to protect frontline services, the impact of the latest round of Government imposed cuts means that there simply isn’t the money available to us to carry on as we did.”