Street Cleaning and Litter

street cleanerWhat is litter?

There are various legal definitons for litter but in simple terms litter is rubbish that is unlawfully scattered or abandoned, generally in a public place.

Litter can cover a huge range of things from small items such as sweet wrappers, cigarette ends, chewing gum or bus tickets to larger items such as drinks bottles, cans, fast food containers or even bags of refuse. Litter is extremely unsightly and creates a poor impression of the local evironment.

What does the Council do about litter?

We provide litter bins at various locations throughout Rhondda Cynon Taf.

We also provide a street cleansing service for adopted highways, public footways, public steps, pedestrianed town centres, car parks and public areas in the County Borough.

We provide this service according to Environmental Protection Act 1990 -Code of Practice on Litter and Refuse. Under the code, streets are divided into seven different categories. The more frequently an area is used, the more often it will be cleaned. Areas such as shopping centres have high levels of traffic and large numbers of pedestrians and will have the highest priority.

However, if the visual appearance of an area deteriorates to an unacceptable level it will be cleaned within the time limits set out in the Code of Practice.

According to the Code of Practice an area will be one of four states of cleanliness. These are ...

Grade A - no litter or refuse.

Grade B - predominately free of litter and refuse apart from some small items.

Grade C - widespread distribution of litter and refuse with minor accumulations

Grade D - heavily littered with significant accumulations of litter and refuse

The code does not state the frequency required to clean each area, but rather sets out a time period to bring the area back up to Grade A status.

To achieve this, we provide regular mechanical and manual sweeping of all adopted roads on a scheduled basis. A road is swept daily, weekly, fortnightly or four weekly, depending on the area and status of road. Busy High Streets will be swept much more regularly than quiet residential roads.

Manual sweeping is used to remove litter and rubbish from the pavement or grass verge. It also removes larger items of litter from gutters. Mechanical sweeping is used to clean gutters and roadways.

litter beforelitter after

Does the Council have a street-cleaning programme?

To achieve the requirements of the Code of Practice on Litter and Refuse we have a planned street cleaning programme.

As part of this cleaning programme we ...

  • Continuously clean town centres
  • Clean main roads once a week
  • Clean other roads once a month
  • Clean road signs and street furniture
  • Clean local bus shelters
  • Clean war memorials and monuments
  • Remove accumulations of rubbish from Council land
  • Provide litter bins and empty them before they become full
  • Help with your locally organised clean-ups
  • Remove chewing gum from town centre pavements
  • Keep seating areas clean and tidy
  • Clear major leaf falls from roads (in autumn)
  • Collect discarded syringes and sharps

Road sweeperHow can I help to keep my neighbourhood clean?

You can help us to keep the area clean by ...

  • Using the bins we provide for your litter and chewing gum
  • Using the free household waste recycling centres (civic amenity sites)
  • Having waste collection contracts for your trade waste
  • Cleaning up your dog's mess
  • Advertising your events properly without using illegal and unsightly notices
  • Keeping cars away from areas where you want us to clean
How can I report a litter problem?

If you think your street has fallen below the required standard and wish to report it to us, please use our contact details below or use the online form at the foot of this page.

When contacting us, please give us the following information ...

  • What is the name of the street or area that you think has become littered?
  • What is the quantity and nature of the litter?
  • Are there vehicles parked in the street and at what times?
  • Did you witness anyone dropping litter?
  • If you saw someone drop litter did you recognise them or could you describe them?
  • If you saw someone drop litter are you prepared to make a statement about the incident?
  • Is there any evidence to show who dropped the litter (letters, bills etc)?

Contact Us

The Service Director for Streetcare
Rhondda Cynon Taf Streetcare Services
Ty Glantaf
Unit B23, Treforest Industrial Estate
CF37 5TT

Tel: 01443 425001
Fax: 01443 844310