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Young litter pickers in Newcastle’s West End collected discarded plastic and paper equivalent to the weight of a Year 4 school pupil as they helped clean the streets around their school.

The army of Westgate Hill Primary Academy pupils – led by Head of School Karl Ellerbrook, a team from Newcastle City Council and enthusiastic parents – donned luminous jackets, gloves and with litter grabbers, took to the streets of Arthur’s Hill to rid them of rubbish.

In the space of an hour, the children collected:

· 159 crisp packets

· 393 pieces of newspaper or cardboard

· 210 drink cans

· 260 plastic bottles and bottle tops

· 407 plastic wrappers

· 168 fruit peelings or pieces of discarded food waste.

The total of 24.9kg of litter collected is equivalent to the weight of a Year 4 school pupil.

The litter pick taught Westgate Hill Primary children how the school fits into the local community and how they can help play their role in improving it.

Mr Ellerbrook said: “The challenge is about getting children out into the local community and taking a look at what is going on in the streets around us.

“There’s a lot of litter around Arthur’s Hill and as a school our role is to encourage children to take pride in their local community.

“That’s what we are doing in raising the awareness of some of the problems that are going on just outside the school fences.”

Newcastle City Council Enviro Schools Officer Melanie Wallace, supported by two community wardens, provided the pupils with their jackets, litter grabbers and bin bags.

A team from the community group ‘Proud of the West End’ also helped clear the area of litter, combining with the school pupils’ efforts to add extra community impetus to tackling an issue impacting people’s lives.

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