Highways and Neighbourhood Services Litter Collection
Northumberland County Council has a legal duty
under the Environmental Protection Act 1990, to act as the Litter
Authority for Northumberland. This responsibility includes street
cleaning, litter collection, the removal of detritus, fly-posting,
graffiti and fly-tipping on public land which is maintained by the
The Council Cleansing programme is based on
the requirements set out in the Code of Practice on Litter and
Refuse 2006, including types of land, zoning, response times and
responsibilities of authorities to maintain
Accurate and systematic monitoring of street
cleanliness is constantly carried out throughout Northumberland to
identify when and where litter problems are likely to occur, and
put procedures in place to maintain acceptable standards.
Grades of Cleanliness
The graded standards shown below are used to
monitor the cleanliness of areas.
For litter and refuse:
No litter or refuse
Predominantly free of litter and refuse apart
from some small items
Widespread distribution of litter and/or
refuse with minor accumulations
Heavily affected by litter and/or refuse with
For detritus (mud, soil, grit etc):
Predominantly free of detritus except for some
Widespread distribution of detritus with minor
Heavily affected by detritus with significant
To report a littered area or request street cleansing
Call 0845 600 6400 or email
Zones and Response Times
All public areas maintained by Northumberland
County Council have been classified into one of four main land
zones, which are set out in the Code of Practice on Litter and
Refuse. If a site falls to a grade C or D for either litter and
refuse, or detritus, it is deemed to be unacceptable, and should be
rectified within the set response times as laid out below:
Zone 1 - high intensity of use
Busy public areas
Half a day. This means by 6pm
if reported by 1pm; or by 1pm the next duty day if reported between
1pm and 6pm on the previous day
Zone 2 -medium intensity of use
'Everyday' areas, including most housing areas
occupied by people most of the time
1 day. This means by 6pm the
Zone 3 - low intensity of use
Lightly trafficked areas that do not impact
upon most peoples lives most of the time
Zone 4 - Areas with special circumstances
Situations where issues of health and safety,
reasonableness and practicality are dominant considerations when
undertaking environmental maintenance work
28 days, or as soon as
To report a littered area or to
request litter removal Call 0845 600 6400 or email
Disposing of dog fouling in litter bins
Dog fouling is not classed as ‘clinical waste’
and can be bagged and disposed of in normal litter bins. There
are more than 6,000 litter bins available across the County that
can be used for the disposal of bagged dog waste.
Children's play areas
We encourage the public not to place dog
fouling into bins within children's play areas.
Dog owners have a responsibility to pick up
after their pets and should either place bagged dog fouling in a
litter bin/dog waste bin or take bagged dog waste home with
To report a dog fouling Hot Spot or to
request dog fouling removal Call 0845 600 6400 or email
Fixed Penalty Notices
Councils can appoint officers to issue fixed penalty notices to
people who are witnessed dropping litter. An offender has 14 days
to pay the fixed penalty of £50. Failure to pay the fine will
result in the case being taken to court and a maximum fine on
conviction of £2,500.
Litter Control Areas
A local authority can designate an area of private land to which
the public has access a "litter control area." The occupier of the
land then has a duty to keep the area free of litter and waste.
Litter Abatement Notice
Anyone with a duty to keep land free of litter and refuse can be
served with a Litter Abatement Notice. The notice requires the
occupier to clean up the land within a specified time. Failure to
do so would result in a fine and an excess charge for every day the
land remains littered.
Street Litter Control Notices
The Council can issue street litter control notices to the owner
or occupier of a certain business if the area around their premises
is littered. The notice makes them responsible for keeping their
area clear of litter.
The Council can after serving notice collect shopping trolleys
and luggage trolleys in their area and charge their owner a fee for
Litter includes dog mess. The Council can introduce "bye-laws,"
which make dog owners responsible for clearing up after their dog.
An on-the-spot fine of £50 can be imposed on offenders.
In Northumberland County maximum effort for street sweeping is
concentrated in the town centres where there is the highest volume
of people working and shopping. More outlying areas require less
effort to keep them clean. Experience has high-lighted hot-spots
throughout the area which need extra attention to keep them clear
of litter and these receive additional attention. In addition to
the familiar street sweeper with his barrow, the council use street
vacuum cleaners and a range of mechanical sweepers large and
Please don't drop litter, use a litter bin or if there isn't one
handy take your litter home and put it in your waste bin if you
can't recycle it!
Thoughtless drivers and their passengers are
costing the taxpayer millions each year in clean up costs when they
toss litter from their cars.
An anticipated 1.3 million bits of rubbish are
dumped close to or on our roads every weekend (Highways
Throwing litter from moving vehicles
is dangerous for other drivers and creates a mess and a hazard on
our roadside verges.
If you wish to report a vehicle
littering incident Call 0845 600 6400 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
with details of the vehicle involved.
There are a number of areas in Northumberland
which are affected by heavy leaf fall in the autumn. These
areas receive extra attention at this time of year to ensure that
they are regularly swept of leaves, so avoiding slippery and
potentially dangerous surfaces for pedestrians. A list of the
roads and public areas identified as a Leaf Hot Spot is kept in
each depot and the areas receive extra attention throughout the
To report a leaf fall Hot Spot area or
to request leaf removal Call 0845 600 6400 or email
Community Litter Pick Information
Northumberland’s face is its fortune; the
cleanliness of the county is an important part of the quality of
life of residents and in encouraging visitors.
RUBBISH! is the first thing we want to
You can help by organising a litter pick in
We will help by providing you with equipment
and advice and taking the rubbish away.
LOVE Northumberland litter pick
Here’s what you need to know to begin
improving your County.
1. Choose an area you want to clean up.
If it is public land maintained by Northumberland County Council
telephone 0845 600 6400 and let us know the area you intend to
If it’s privately owned land, get permission
from the landowner(s).
2. Decide when you want to do it.
3. Tell your friends, family and neighbours
you need their help.
4. Register your litter pick event by emailing
your name and contact details along with the date and location of
your event to Ask@northumberland.gov.uk If
you do not have email access call 0845 600 6400 to register.
5. Northumberland County Council will
provide litter pick packs for up to 20 people. These include:
- Litter pickers
- Rubbish sacks
- High Visibility Waistcoats
6. Contact Northumberland County Council
- Email Ask@northumberland.gov.uk or call 0845 600 6400 to:
- Arrange a collection point to have the
collected rubbish taken away.
- Get advice on storing the rubbish safely
until it can be collected (if necessary).
- For facilities to recycle items you collect
on your litter pick, such as plastic bottles, aluminium drink
7. Complete a risk
assessment. This is a simple procedure which ensures you
have considered any safety issues for the group and taken the
necessary precautions to prevent them, as far as possible.
For an example of Highways and
Neighbourhood services litter picking risk assessment see link at
the bottom of this page.
8. Prepare yourself and your helpers for the
- Decide where you will meet and at what
- Think about how to split the group up to
cover the area.
- Decide how long you will litter pick, when
you will take breaks.
- Think about refreshments and what toilet
facilities are available.
- Think about first aid, safety and hygiene –
is there a first aider in the group, do you have a supply of
antibacterial wipes or hand gel, take some plasters and antiseptic
for any cuts or grazes.
9. Go through an activity planning checklist
to make sure you haven’t forgotten anything.
10. Contact Northumberland County Council
Media on 0845 600 6400and let them know what you are doing. They
may want to include your litter pick in the local papers or
1. Brief the group on:
- Health and safety – check everyone has read
the safety checklist and knows how to use the equipment and what to
- Meeting points, break and finish times
- Where to place the collected rubbish –
consider using a map if the area is large
- Who the first aider is and/or what to do if
an injury occurs
2. Check everyone is wearing/has appropriate
clothing and footwear for the weather and terrain.
3. Ensure there is sufficient supervision for
4. Ask the group to be considerate to wildlife
and people using the area
5. Exchange mobile phone numbers to ensure
good communication links between the group.
Litter pick safety
- Use gloves and avoid direct contact with
litter at all times
- Use a litter picking tool where possible for
any glass and metal items
- Any needles or sharp objects should be dealt
with by a fully trained member of the Councils
Neighbourhood Environmental Action Team. Do
not pick up any suspect items, particularly those listed as
hazards. Note their location and report them to the Council
immediately following the litter pick.
- Clean hands thoroughly before eating food or
- Rubbish should not be compressed using hands
or feet as this can accidentally puncture the skin.
- Avoid contact with the body when carrying
plastic bin bags.
- Ensure any cuts or abrasions are clean and
covered with a waterproof plaster.
- Wear stout shoes and waterproof
- Avoid lifting heavy objects or sacks alone –
ask for assistance if required.
- Be aware of your environment and do not put
yourself at risk whilst picking litter.
After the event
1. Check Northumberland County Council
has collected the rubbish as scheduled. If it has not been picked
up, please contact us again.
to view or download the information sheet.
to view Health and Safety Instructions For Community Litter
to view an example of Highways and Neighbourhood Services Litter
Picking Risk Assessment