Eagle-eyed school pupils have caught a flytipping shopkeeper in the act during a community clean-up campaign.
The youngsters from Bankside Primary School, in Shepherds Lane, Harehills, had been out with Leeds City Council street cleansing staff doing a litter pick when they spotted the loose waste and rubbish bags.
Having found evidence that the waste had come from a nearby shop, which is in an environmental improvement zone, the plucky pupils questioned the shopkeeper who said the bags had only just been put out.
One young eco-warrior knew this was not the case however and told the owner they had seen the bags a day earlier, prompting the shopkeeper to apologise and join the clean-up effort.
Kauser Jan, assistant headteacher at the school, said: “The day really exceeded our aspirations, the children took charge and were proactive in how they want their community to look and community members to behave.”
A legal notice was served on the owner, which will result in fines for repeat incidents.
In all, the ‘Keep Harehills Tidy’ clean-up saw 60 children collect over 35 bags of rubbish from the school grounds and surrounding streets.
The area also benefits from the support of a hot spot team – a dedicated crew of street cleaners and an enforcement officer.
In spite of the clean-up day’s success, litter began to build up in the area shortly after.
But locality manager John Woolmer said a conversation with local youths led to a further clean-up soon after, with the young men asking for litter pickers and joining in.
Coun Mark Dobson, executive member for the environment, said: “By getting whole communities involved we can start to bring about the long-term behaviour change we need towards rubbish and litter.”