North Tyneside Council has launched the Big Spring Clean, which aims to make the borough cleaner and greener with people invited to organise their own clean-up events while the council provides gloves, bags and litter pickers.
Five schools have already signed up carry out litter picks, with more expected to sign up before the campaign ends on May 31.
Pupils at Richardson Dees Primary School, in Wallsend, were joined by environmental mascot ‘Waldo the Wonderdog’ to launch the campaign.
Emma Horn, 11, said: “It is really important to keep our local area and environment clean and tidy so that we have somewhere nice to live and play.”
Mayor Linda Arkley added: “The Big Spring Clean helps to support the commitment to have a clean, tidy and safe borough and I am delighted to be launching the sixth campaign.
“It is fantastic that we have received continued support from our residents, businesses and schools wanting to take part in clean up events; I would urge others to also lend a hand and get involved.”
Operation Hotspot – a partnership between the council, Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service and Northumbria Police – will return following its success last year.
They will tackle fly-tipping, littering, anti-social behaviour and home fire safety.
Chief Superintendent Steve Neill, area commander for North Tyneside, said: “This is an excellent example of how working together with our partners we are able to tackle issues concerning the community.
“It is great that we can bring everyone together to play our part in keeping the area a safe and pleasant place to live.
“We have listened to the concerns of the community and now, together with our partners, we are taking a robust action on environmental health issues, fire safety and anti-social behaviour – some of the concerns raised by local residents.
“We are always keen to hear any feedback from the community and anyone with any concerns can contact their local neighbourhood policing team on 101.”
District Manager Dave Escott, Tyne and Wear Fire and Rescue Service, added: “This is a great initiative and we are delighted to be involved following the success of Operational Hotspot.
“Rubbish build-up can often be a target for deliberate fire setting. Not only does it cause damage to property it can endanger lives.
“Something that may seem like a small rubbish fire could easily spread to neighbouring property, with devastating consequences.
“Attending deliberate fires also puts extra pressure on our busy crews who whilst they are dealing with these are not as readily available to attend other more potentially life threatening incidents or to carry out prevention work to stop fires from happening in the first place.
“By working with our partners and with the local community, we aim to reduce the risk of fire and make the community a safer place to be.”