Statutory guidance

Litter and refuse: code of practice

This code seeks to outline in more detail what might be considered by a court of law to be practicable on different types of land.


Code of practice on litter and refuse

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The Environmental Protection Act 1990 imposes duties under section 89(1) and (2) on certain landowners and occupiers to keep specified land clear of litter and refuse, and on local authorities and the Secretary of State to keep clean public highways for which they are responsible.

This document provides a practical guide to the discharge of these duties and applies to England only.

Part 1 contains a code of practice (referred to throughout as ‘the Code’) issued under section 89(7) of the Environmental Protection Act 1990.

Part 2 contains advisory standards for graffiti and fly-posting. Such defacement, even if partially removed, has an adverse affect on the quality of the environment and can lead to an increase in crime. Even if all of the litter and refuse were cleared,the public would perceive the area to be defaced if graffiti and/or fly-posting were still present.

Part 3 contains details of the legislative framework that surrounds this code of practice.

September 2019 update

The code of practice was updated to include Part 1A on enforcement guidance (published as a separate document on this page). We also published the modification note which details the changes made.

Published 1 April 2013
Last updated 26 September 2019 + show all updates
  1. Added the modification note, modified code of practice document and part 1A - enforcement guidance document.

  2. First published.