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We are responsible for the collection of litter from any area of public land within the district. Our Cleansing and Environmental Services Team work to take preventative measures, investigate incidents and the causes of littering, maintain collection facilities and clean up or remove waste.

What is litter?

Obvious examples of litter include crisp packets, leftover fast food and fast food wrappers, discarded chewing gum and so forth. According to legal definitions, it can also include small quantities of bagged domestic waste, dog fouling, cigarette butts, syringes and many other items.

Litter comes from a wide variety of sources, ranging from retail shops, takeaway food outlets and the nighttime economy, to domestic waste that is badly stored, not contained in a wheelie bin or put out for collection at the wrong time.

Why is littering a problem?

Litter is unsightly and if it is not removed an area can quickly look run-down, becoming more unsightly and discouraging others from taking care, starting a spiral of decline. Removal is expensive, as is dealing with the wider consequences of vermin, ill health and disease that can arise.

What can you do about it?

You can help to keep our districts tidy by disposing of your rubbish responsibly, and using the facilities provided. If there are no litter bins in the area, please take your litter home with you.

Littering and the law

The council has a variety of powers to take legal action against landowners and people who cause litter, to help encourage a more responsible approach and prevent the problem.

The Clean Neighbourhoods and Environment Act 2005 strengthened the council's powers by enabling officers to issue Fixed Penalty Notices for littering (currently £80).

Legal powers available to the council include:

  • requiring landowners to clear their land where it has become littered, or where it provides food or harbourage for vermin
  • requiring people running fast food businesses to provide litter bins and to clear up litter generated by their business
  • issuing Fixed Penalty Notices to people who cause litter (currently £80)
  • prosecuting people who litter (maximum fine £2,500)
  • requiring the joint owners of privately owned common courtyards and passageways to clear litter and refuse

Litter and dog waste bins

Norse empty hundreds of litter bins in the district, and parish councils may be able to fund additional ones, so if you think a litter or dog waste bin is needed in your area, you can contact your parish council.

Bins are inspected and refurbished on a regular basis. If you notice a damaged or overflowing bin then please contact us.

Love East Suffolk scheme

The annual ‘Love East Suffolk’ scheme encourages residents to organise group litter picks in their local area.

Spring Clean litter pick scheme

If your town or parish council, school, or any other local community group would like to organise a litter pick to help improve your local environment, then our Spring Clean litter pick scheme can help.

Norse will provide free sacks in which to collect litter, and will arrange to collect and dispose of the rubbish collected.

Though it's called Spring Clean, litter picks can be carried out at any time of the year.

If your group is organising a litter pick, please complete the online registration form. Even if you do not require equipment or collection of the litter afterwards by Norse, if you are publicising your event to invite other people along then we would still ask that you register your litter pick using this form as this will help us to form a fuller picture of community litter action in our district and also enable us to inform you in case there is any reason why a litter pick at that particular time and location will not be possible (e.g. in case it coincides with another activity, event or council operations).

It is recommended that anyone participating in these activities obtains suitable public liability and any other relevant insurance to cover the event.