Wrexham County Borough Council has a duty, under Part IV of the Environmental Protection Act, 1990, to keep areas of land in its control clear of litter and refuse.
The local authority is a 'Duty Body'. Other 'Duty Bodies' with responsibilities for litter and waste on land in their control are schools, colleges, universities, hospitals and the rail authorities. The Council adheres to the street cleanliness standards in the Code of Practice on Litter and Refuse.
Areas of the County Borough are zoned according to their use Zone 1 is the town centre, Zone 3 is lower density residential areas whilst Zone 7 covers district and rural roads.
The different zones become littered over different lengths of time. The cleanliness of an area is assessed by comparing it to a standard. The standards are Grade A-free of litter, Grade B-a few small items, Grade C-more litter with a few small build-ups and Grade D-a lot of litter with large accumulations.
Different lengths of time are allowed to clean the areas and get them back to the standard they should be. The idea behind the Code is that what matters is how clean the area is not how often it is cleaned.
The standard of cleanliness is regularly monitored by taking random samples of the streets of The County Borough. An independent survey carried out in autumn 2001 confirmed that the council maintains a high standard of street cleanliness.
If an area falls below the standards required members of the public have the right to make a formal complaint and if the problem is not rectified take legal action.
Local authorities have been given a number of powers to help them deal with littering.
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 £75. 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
A local authority 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.
Local authorities can after serving notice collect shopping trolleys and luggage trolleys in their area and charge their owner a fee for returning them.
Refuse includes dog mess. Local authorities can introduce "bye-laws," which make dog owners responsible for clearing up after their dog. An on-the-spot fine of £75 on be imposed on offenders.
In Wrexham County Borough maximum effort for street sweeping is concentrated in the town centre 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 user street vacuum cleaners and a range of mechanical sweepers large and small.
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!