Litter makes an area look uncared for and reduces pride of the residents, visitors and businesses who live and work there.
If litter is disposed of irresponsibly it can affect wellbeing and health of those within the local community and can contribute to perceptions of crime and anti-social behaviour in neighbourhoods.
The responsibility of businesses
It is the responsibility of all businesses to make sure wastes are managed at all times, in accordance with the law and securely stored until they are safely disposed.
Anyone who produces, imports, keeps, stores, transports, treats or disposes of waste has a legal obligation to take all reasonable steps, to ensure wastes are managed in accordance with the law. This duty of care imposed under section 34 Environmental Protection Act 1990, requires waste holders and anyone who may act as a dealer or broker in waste to comply with the legal obligations imposed on them.
Under this duty of care the following legal requirements are placed on businesses who are waste holders, namely to -
- prevent the escape of your waste between collections for example, provide waste bins to securely contain all wastes, store bins on private land and present bins only on collections days
- take steps to prevent other persons from disposing of your waste illegally
- only transfer wastes to authorised persons and retain documents (also known as controlled waste transfer notes) for the past two years. These documents must be produced to the Council, or Environment Agency, on request - failure to do so may be an offence and result in a fixed penalty or prosecution
Please note that Business Rates do not include charges for the collection and disposal of wastes from any business.
Advice to businesses
Businesses are encouraged to provide clear anti-littering information to customers to encourage to responsibly dispose of litter.
Employees of businesses should be provided with similar information, together with clear instructions with regards the management of wastes and maintaining the cleanliness of the business premises. Examples of problems that can be caused by business can include -
- causing an obstruction by placing bins or bags on a highway (this includes the pavement, grass verges, parking bays)
- escapes of litter and wastes due to a failure to secure wastes responsibly
- failing to clear up cigarette butts, food and drink packaging relating to the operation business
- disposing of wastes within residential recycling and refuse schemes, or household communal bins
Examples of measures that could be taken to tackle these problems may include -
- responsible management of wastes for example wastes disposed within locked bins, storage of bins and bulky waste items securely on private property between collections, speaking with your waste contractor to increase the number of bins or collection frequencies
- provision of clear instructions to staff for the management of wastes. removal of litter and waste from affected land (this includes any highway, grass verges and public land adjacent to any business), emptying of litter bins, checking bins are removed from highway and locked and to report problems to the owner/manager
- provide anti-littering information in visible locations
- provide litter bins for customers on business premises
- where possible avoid unnecessary packaging and encourage customers to use reusable bags
How to report litter and waste problems from businesses
If you see problems relating to litter and wastes from any business you can report this by using the form below.
Any information we ask you to provide will only be used to help us to take action against the person responsible. If you confirm you have photos or video footage, please keep this safe as you will be asked to provide this once you have completed the form.
You must not use the online form below to request -
- for the clearance of litter or wastes from the highway and public land
- for litter bins to be emptied
- to install stickers, signs or stencils
- to install, repair or replace litter bins or dog fouling bins
If you have evidence to help us take action against businesses causing litter and waste related problems, this may result in-
- £400 fixed penalty
- recovery of the cleanup costs
- prosecution and a maximum penalty of an unlimited fine