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The council spends approximately £500,000 each year clearing litter from our streets and parks. Part of the street cleansing rounds involve emptying over a 1,000 litter bins across the borough. Litter is removed using a range of equipment, including road sweepers that suck the litter up, the Glutton, which is a portable vacuum cleaner that mainly operates in the town centre, and more commonly with an operative and a barrow using a picker stick and broom.

As well as litter, carelessly discarded from people out and about and in their car, some litter escapes from bins and bagged waste that has not been correctly stored.

In law, litter is anything discarded and left, so includes chewing gum, cigarette ends, apple cores, bird feed, matches, cans, bottles, sweet wrappers and bagged dog waste. It is an offence to depost litter anywhere unless you have the express permission of the owner to do so. Council enforcement officers can, therefore, prosecute anyone for throwing litter into a river, over a garden wall, down a drain or left in a shopping trolley.

We work closely with land managers to ensure they manage litter on their car parks and landscaped areas. The council has powers under the Environmental Protection Act 1990 to require land owners and occupiers to keep their land free of litter and refuse. Businesses that sell food and drink for consumption off the premises can also be required to keep the street clean up to 100 metres away.

Businesses that require customers or staff to smoke off their premises should provide fixed wind-proof ashtrays or a bin suitable for cigarettes and empty them regularly. See our dedicated page on the menu for more information about cigarettes and chewing gum.

Litter bins are provided for small items of waste produced when out and about such as bottles, cans and food wrappers. You should not dispose of your household or business waste in them. Not only is it illegal but you block the bin up preventing others from using them for their intended purpose.

Please contact us if you require advice on managing litter or are interested in sponsoring a litter bin. For information about organising a litter pick see the community clean-ups page.

Last updated on 08 June 2020