Bedford Borough Council wants to discourage
local people and visitors to Bedford from dropping litter and to
encourage them to keep the Borough clean.
Think before dropping litter
and use the bins provided around the Borough or take your litter
Litter can be anything from a sweet wrapper or
cigarette end to a bag of rubbish. The size does not matter.
Chewing gum and cigarette ends are classed as litter so please use
the bins provided or dispose of litter sensibly.
Littering is an offence under the Environmental Protection Act
1990 and as amended by the Clean Neighbourhood and Environment Act
2005. An offence is committed if someone throws down, drops or
otherwise deposits anything in any place (including over water)
that is open to the air and to which the public have access.
Littering is most commonly assumed to include materials associated
with smoking and consuming food, confectionery or beverages
that are improperly discarded and left by members of the public.
Litter can be as small as a sweet wrapper, as large as a bag of
rubbish, or it can mean lots of items scattered about. The Clean
Neighbourhoods and Environment Act 2005 specifically included
cigarette ends and chewing gum and their wrappings in the
definition of litter.
Littering has increased as more people than
before have been reported throwing litter from their car and also
dropping litter on the streets. Bedford Borough Council has a
Zero Tolerance Policy towards environmental crimes, including
littering. If you are seen littering in Bedford Borough you will be
issued with an on the spot fixed penalty notice (FPN) of £75 by an
authorised officer. Through access to the DVLA database, people
seen littering from a vehicle are also liable for littering
offences and may receive a fixed penalty notice through the post.
The FPN is issued so that you may discharge your liability for the
offence by paying the penalty and not face a prosecution. However,
if you do not pay the FPN, the case will go to court where
the maximum fine for littering is £2,500 and the prosecution
will result in a criminal record.
Since April 2015 178 Fixed Penalty
Notices have been issued for littering offences. To see
more results for enforcement go to our Enviro-Crime page and scroll down to see
Impact on our Communities
Litter affects communities dramatically with
over 30 million tonnes of litter being collected from streets every
year costing council tax payers £858 million a year to clean the
streets of England. Some types of litter can take much longer than
others to degrade. Plastic bottles can last indefinitely, aluminium
drinks cans can last about 80 to 100 years and it is estimated that
disposable nappies can spend up to 500 years in landfill depending
on the materials used in production. Plastic bags given away by
supermarkets last between 10 and 20 years. Orange peel, banana
skins and apple cores can last up to 2 years, while cigarette butts
are thought to take between 2 and 500 years to break down
Littering can cause decline in the local
neighbourhood as areas are continually degraded by litter, or
private land that frequently accumulates litter and refuse,
can set the scene for other environmental crimes and
anti-social behaviour such as fly-tipping and graffiti.
Why Would You?
Bedford Borough Council has an ongoing a 'Why Would You?'
campaign which is targeting environmental crimes such as Littering,
Graffiti. Information and posters for this campaign can be
found around the Borough and also on Council vehicles, including
Rubbish Collection and Street Cleansing vehicles. If you would like
to join our fight to beat littering you can find further
information and littering related posters here:
Littering 'Why Would You?' Poster
Chewing Gum 'Why Would You?' Poster
'Why Would You?' Kids Poster
Report your litter concerns
If your street is badly littered, you can report issues a number
- By using our
- By Mobile Application: You can report any
environmental offences by using Clean Streets
Bedford. For further information, to report an offence or to
download the App please use the above link.
- By emailing the Environmental Helpdesk: firstname.lastname@example.org
- By calling the Environmental Services
Helpdesk: 01234 718060
Community Clean Ups and how to arrange community litter picks
in your area.
Businesses have an important part to play
The Environmental Protection Act 1990 allows local authorities
to serve Street Litter Control Notices on owners of certain
businesses where there are regular accumulations of litter outside
the premises, including cigarette litter. A Street Litter Control
Notice places a legal duty on these businesses to keep the street
outside their premises clean and may be served where businesses
fail to clean up on a voluntary basis.
The council has installed a number of cigarette disposal units
in the town centres but businesses can assist greatly by installing
their own cigarette disposal units, encouraging staff to dispose of
their litter in a responsible way and warning them of the possible
consequences if they drop it on the street.
Businesses can receive further information and advice
from the Call Centre on 01234 718060 or