Litter

We are experiencing pressure on our street cleansing service.

This is due to the effect of staff and driver shortages, fuel shortages and availability of spare parts and machinery.

We are prioritising safety throughout our highway network. This is may disrupt our normal sweeping and litter bin routines at times.

Thank you for your patience during this time. 

The council’s contractor routinely clears litter every day in areas that tend to get badly littered. They undertake reactive litter picking as requested where there is significant litter.

There are over 650 litter bins in the borough and each bin is able to take bagged dog waste and litter. In or near certain retail areas dual litter and recycling bins have been installed as a significant amount of litter can be recycled. Litter bins are emptied daily or 3 times a week.

Report litter

You can report a litter issue online.

Report a litter issue

How to report a litter bin issue

You can report an overflowing or damaged litter bin online.

Report a litter bin issue

Tidy up campaigns

We work with Keep Britain Tidy who co-ordinate national tidy up campaigns.

The council runs a Take Pride initiative working with volunteers and community groups who want to play their part in keeping their local area clean and tidy.

We work with schools to assist with campaigns to raise awareness of litter problems, encouraging young people (and their parents) to use litter bins or take their litter home with them and recycle as much of it as possible.

The impact of litter

Clearing up litter nationally costs taxpayers almost 1 billion pounds per year.

Litter can be as small as a sweet wrapper or cigarette end, as large as an item or small bag of rubbish. Chewing gum is classed as litter which is far more difficult and costly to remove than other forms of litter.

Smoking related litter is the most prevalent item of litter on the streets in this country with cigarette butts being the single most littered item in England. Some smokers may not regard them as litter, but they can take 12 years to biodegrade. Dropping them is a criminal offence in the same way as dropping other litter.

The most visible litter is that which is carelessly thrown from vehicles on busy roads where the verges become badly littered over a period of time. This litter cannot be easily cleared without costly measures to protect workers. Clearing litter on busy roads risks workers lives.

The law

The offence of leaving litter (section 87 of the Environmental Protection Act 1990) says that if a person drops, throws deposits or leaves anything so as to cause defacement in a public place, they could be committing a littering offence.

The police or local authority can prosecute people who drop litter. In the UK there is a maximum fine of £2,500 for persistent littering.

Local authority officers and litter wardens have the powers to impose on the spot fines to those caught littering and these are on average £80 to £95.