We are a community proud of our towns, villages, and green spaces. We embrace being outdoors whether it’s exploring the commons, cycling around the borough, walking along the river, shopping on our high streets, or playing with our family in the borough’s many parks and green spaces. However, none of us are happy when we see litter, fly tips or dog fouling! It can definitely remove the glow of that outdoor feeling.
In previous years Elmbridge has worked to deter this type of behaviour through anti-litter campaigns, patrols in ‘hot spot’ areas, as well as additional and larger bins. For 2023, we are stepping up that work to ensure that we can all be proud of our borough.
From June 2023 we are adopting a multi-faceted approach – a Keep Elmbridge Tidy communications campaign, encouraging our litter picking groups, new bins in our towns and high streets and more visible enforcement.
Keep Elmbridge Tidy campaign
From social media and digital messages to physical banners, you will see the Keep Elmbridge Tidy campaign around the borough, encouraging everyone to use public bins or to take rubbish home when out and about around Elmbridge.
Supporting Local litter picking groups
We are grateful to have the support of local litter picking groups who meet regularly to help combat litter and make a big difference to the community. We are also encouraging residents to organise their own groups to support the ‘Keep Elmbridge Tidy’ campaign. Check out our website for ideas and advice.
Bins, bins and more bins
As part of our commitment to a thriving borough with vibrant towns and villages, we are undertaking a three-year street bin replacement programme along our highways, shopping areas and town centres. The initial phase of the programme, funded by the UK Shared Prosperity Fund, involved 11 new dual recycling bins installed in High Streets around Walton-on-Thames, Weybridge and Cobham
Further funding has been secured from both the Community Infrastructure Levy (CIL) and the UK Shared Prosperity Fund for 2023/24 and 2024/25 which will see a total (across the 3 years) of 25 dual recycling bins, 60 single use bins and 2 large compacting solar bins at Manor Road Walton-on-Thames by the river front and Thames Street car park Weybridge.
From 2021-2023, 424 bins were installed across Elmbridge green spaces, which included five large compacting solar power bins.
For a 6-month pilot period starting in June, you will see the Elmbridge Litter Enforcement Team around our parks, green spaces, towns and villages, especially in known littering hot spots such as Desborough Island. This enforcement team has the authority to issue on-the-spot fines when they observe littering, dog fouling and fly-tipping.
We are also installing CCTV cameras with ANPR (Automatic Number Plate Recognition) in common fly-tipping areas of the borough, allowing us the much needed evidence to prosecute those who dump rubbish illegally in Elmbridge.
Councillor Ashley Tilling, Portfolio Holder for Environmental Services welcomes this comprehensive approach to a thriving Elmbridge:
“No one likes to see litter or dog fouling when they are out and about in the borough and this spring and summer, we want to encourage visitors to our green spaces and parks to be respectful to others and to use the bins provided or to take rubbish home and help us to Keep Elmbridge Tidy.
“A thriving and sustainable Elmbridge is one we should all be able to enjoy – free from litter and fly tipping and this spring and summer through additional bins, working with litter picking groups, plus the presence of the Elmbridge Litter Enforcement Team, we are we are doing all we can to make that happen.”
Elmbridge Litter Enforcement Team
Residents will soon see the Elmbridge Litter Enforcement Team on patrol wearing the uniform seen in the photo below.
As the summer approaches and more people have the opportunity to enjoy their local park, we urge parents and carers to make their young people aware that littering will not be tolerated in Elmbridge and will very possibly result in a fine if observed by the Litter Enforcement Team. We will also work with the local schools and colleges, as well as youth and sports clubs to get the message out.
For all our dog owners and walkers, we remind you that any public bin can be used to dispose of dog waste bags.
Questions and answers
How is littering legally defined?
Litter is something which is improperly discarded while sitting, walking or travelling through an area. Dropping litter in a space is a criminal offence in law. The legislation, applicable to littering for England and Wales is Section 87(1) of the Environmental Protection Act 1990. There is no statutory defence in relation to there not being any nearby litter bins. The same applies to the disposal of bagged ‘dog waste’.
What are some examples of littering?
Sweet wrappers, drinks containers, cigarette ends, gums, apple cores, fast food packaging, till receipts, tissues dog wastes bags, etc.
How is fly-tipping legally defined?
The law makes a distinction between litter and fly-tipping based on size. Fly-tipping is the illegal disposal of household, industrial, commercial or other ‘controlled’ waste. The waste can be liquid or solid. Controlled waste includes garden refuse and larger domestic items such as fridges and mattresses.
A single sack of rubbish or greater is considered not to be litter but comes under the category of fly-tipping, which is a more serious criminal offence.
What are the fines that can be issued for littering?
Authorised officers have the power to issue a fixed penalty charge of up to £150 for a litter offence. If the offender is prosecuted and convicted in court, the fine could rise to £2,500.
Are there age restrictions for fining someone for littering?
Penalty notices can be issued to children aged 10 or over, as well as to adults.
I am part of a litter-picking group and we place our litter bags next to council bins, is that still allowed?
We are grateful for the work carried out by litter-picking groups in Elmbridge and want to support you in your endeavours. Please get in touch with us prior to your event and we will arrange for the litter bags to be collected as soon as possible after the end of your litter-pick. If litter bags are left next a council bin without notification, this could be considered as fly-tipping.
There aren’t enough bins for dog fouling, will the council provide more bins?
We have supplied 424 bins on our green spaces between 2021 and 2023. The new dual-use bins can be used for general litter and dog waste. We are asking everyone to respect their environment and neighbourhoods. If there are no bins available or they are full, please take your rubbish home and dispose of it responsibly,
How do I report a full bin in a park or on the Commons?
Overflowing bins can be reported online through our website or by quoting the QR code on the bin, helping us to find the location and respond more quickly.
How do I report a full bin on a high street?
Overflowing bins or litter related issues on a high street can be reported online through our website.
How is litter dealt with in Elmbridge?
- Street litter is managed by Joint Waste Solutions who also deal with the Elmbridge bin collection service
- Our Green Spaces team deals with litter in parks and open spaces.
- Litter issues, including general litter in streets and open spaces and countryside sites, overflowing bins, dog fouling and fly-tipping can be reported online via our website.