Publication - Guidance

Code of Practice on Litter and Refuse (Scotland) 2018

Published: 17 May 2018
Directorate:
Environment and Forestry Directorate
Part of:
Environment and climate change
ISBN:
9781788518932

This Code of Practice on Litter and Refuse (COPLAR) provides guidance on fulfilling the duties under the Environmental Protection Act 1990, Section 89.

36 page PDF

405.0 kB

36 page PDF

405.0 kB

Contents
Code of Practice on Litter and Refuse (Scotland) 2018
4.0 Fulfilling Duty 1

36 page PDF

405.0 kB

4.0 Fulfilling Duty 1

4.1 Litter and refuse grades

These are set as grades from A to F, with A reflecting that no litter or refuse is present (the standard) and F that potentially dangerous materials need to be removed as early as practicable. Bodies should draw on the photographed examples, provided on pages 14 to 15, to assess their land and roads.

These grades should be used when monitoring. The guideline number of items specified in the following photographs should be applied to areas of 100m 2.

Note that:

  • large items (larger than a credit card) include but are not limited to drinks containers, food packaging, carrier bags, newspapers, crisp packets/large sweet packets, cigarette packaging items, food waste (banana skin, sandwich etc.), and dog faeces
  • small items include but are not limited to cigarette ends, receipts, tickets, individual sweet wrappers, and small food waste items (e.g. individual crisps)
  • where a combination of both exists, six small items should be regarded as one large item e.g. 13 large items and 30 small items would become 18 large items making it a grade D
  • flytipping is the illegal disposal of controlled waste – from a single bag of waste to large quantities of domestic, commercial or construction waste.

A body should be able to justify its litter and refuse grades and have evidence to prove that it is fulfilling its duty/ies.

Further advice and high resolution photographs can be found at
www.zerowastescotland.org.uk/COPLAR

Litter and Refuse Grade A: No litter or refuse is present on any type of land

Litter and Refuse Grade A: No litter or refuse is present on any type of land

Litter and Refuse Grade B: Small amounts of litter and refuse

Litter and Refuse Grade B: Small amounts of litter and refuse

As a guide, fewer than 5 large items or fewer than 30 small items of litter and refuse

Litter and Refuse Grade C: Moderate amounts of litter and refuse, with small accumulations

Litter and Refuse Grade C: Moderate amounts of litter and refuse, with small accumulations

As a guide, 5-15 large items or 30-90 small items of litter or refuse

Litter and Refuse Grade D: Significant amounts of litter and refuse, with consistent distribution and accumulations

Litter and Refuse Grade D: Significant amounts of litter and refuse, with consistent distribution and accumulations

As a guide, 16-30 large items or 91-180 small items of litter and refuse

Litter and Refuse Grade E: Substantial amounts of litter and refuse with significant accumulations

Litter and Refuse Grade E: Substantial amounts of litter and refuse with significant accumulations

As a guide, more than 30 large items or more than 180 small items of litter and refuse

Litter and Refuse Grade F: Incidents of flytipping and hazardous/special waste (drug related waste, broken glass, animal carcasses, car parts, chemicals, and spillages)

Litter and Refuse Grade F: Incidents of flytipping and hazardous/special waste (drug related waste, broken glass, animal carcasses, car parts, chemicals, and spillages)

4.2 Tactics – how prevention can be used to meet the standard

An area that has no litter or refuse does not need to be cleared. Bodies should therefore consider what they can do to encourage people not to litter in the first place. By implementing a sustainable approach to meeting the duty, bodies will have a greater degree of flexibility to allow resources to be used in a proactive manner.

The zoning exercise will help bodies to determine where litter and refuse problems are, and how they might prevent these. Drawing on zone assessment findings, bodies should then find ways to influence positive litter/refuse behaviours.

The decisions bodies make about appropriate preventative measures should be tailored to their zones’ particular circumstances and may include, but are not limited to, the following examples:

  • improved monitoring – understanding where and why a zone is not meeting the standard can help make decisions about further tactics to use
  • communications – signs, news stories, marketing materials, social media
  • engagement – stakeholder and community engagement
  • partnership working – with other bodies/businesses/community groups to address problems across boundaries
  • infrastructure – facilities/services including smart bins and recycle on the go containers
  • service optimisation – cleansing schedules, action to reduce waste escaping from kerbside collections, deployment of temporary resources (such as for a short-life event), upskilling staff, litter pick grass areas before mowing
  • enforcement – where, when and how enforcement teams are deployed or to create Litter Control Areas
  • demand management – focus resources according to needs, for example one-off events or better weather means more visitors to parks.

In deciding the appropriate mix of tactics to develop and deploy, bodies may find the National Litter Strategy’s content about influencing people’s behaviour [24] helpful. It is based on research and evidence that people’s choices and behaviours are influenced by three contexts: individual, social and material.

Preventing litter and refuse from being dropped means that:

areas should retain the standard (Grade A) for longer – as it should take longer for the grade to deteriorate

the speed and frequency of restorative action to meet the standard can therefore reduce – meaning expensive clean-up operations can be focused on priority areas.

The way that prevention contributes to fulfilling Duty 1 is that when people dispose of materials responsibly, rather than letting them become litter or refuse, there is less for a body to remove in order to meet the standard.

How far prevention goes towards fulfilling the duty will be determined by the effectiveness of the tactics that each body decides to use.

Further advice can be obtained from Zero Waste Scotland
www.zerowastescotland.org.uk/COPLAR

4.3 Response Times

Duty 1 response times are structured as four bands that recognise bodies’ investment in prevention. It reflects that effective measures increase the likelihood of zones being cleaner for longer, which reduces the need for rapid restoration.

The basic response times (band 1) are based on a body allocating between 0 and 10% of its overall litter and flytipping spend on prevention tactics. The response times (bands 2 to 4) increase in proportion to prevention spend.

Note that litter and refuse clearance should not count as prevention spend. Although it supports preventing further problems, the motivation for deploying it is to restore zones to the standard. However, activities that improve local environmental quality would be considered preventative spend. Bodies must be able to clearly demonstrate how they allocate spend if asked by a court to do so.

To justify moving up the extended response time bands, a body must continue to invest in prevention and be satisfied that the success of its preventative measures meets the standard. Consideration should be given to how this can be evidenced e.g. through regular monitoring.

It is expected that each body’s response times will reflect its preventative spend in the previous financial year, unless it has certainty and evidence of its finance within a current financial year.

Special considerations are outlined within 3.2.

Bodies should also recognise their duties under The Bathing Waters (Scotland) Regulations 2008, where pollution by litter and refuse is of risk to bathers’ health and safety. Remediation should take place within the response times indicated above or within a maximum of seven days, whichever is a lesser time period.

Once an area is restored, prevention tactics should support maintaining the standard.

Duty 1 response times

The bands and percentage of overall litter/flytipping spend on prevention tactics are:

Band 1: basic response times, based on 0-10% spend on prevention

Zone

Litter and Refuse Grade

Special Considerations

F

E

D

C

B

A

1

At the earliest practicable opportunity

1 hour

2 hours

3 hours

12 hours

Clear of litter and refuse

14 days

2

2 hours

4 hours

5 hours

24 hours

21 days

3

6 hours

8 hours

9 hours

48 hours

28 days

4

24 hours

36 hours

48 hours

7 days

35 days

5

48 hours

60 hours

3 days

14 days

42 days

6

14 days

21 days

28 days

42 days

No additional time

Band 2: Response times based on 11-20% spend on prevention

Zone

Litter and Refuse Grade

Special Considerations

F

E

D

C

B

A

1

At the earliest practicable opportunity

2 hours

3 hours

4 hours

24 hours

Clear of litter and refuse

21 days

2

4 hours

6 hours

8 hours

48 hours

28 days

3

8 hours

10 hours

12 hours

3 days

35 days

4

36 hours

48 hours

3 days

10 days

42 days

5

3 days

4 days

5 days

18 days

49 days

6

21 days

28 days

35 days

49 days

No additional time

Band 3: Response times based on 21-30% spend on prevention

Zone

Litter and Refuse Grade

Special Considerations

F

E

D

C

B

A

1

At the earliest practicable opportunity

4 hours

5 hours

7 hours

36 hours

Clear of litter and refuse

28 days

2

6 hours

8 hours

12 hours

3 days

35 days

3

12 hours

14 hours

18 hours

4 days

42 days

4

3 days

4 days

5 days

13 days

49 days

5

5 days

6 days

8 days

22 days

56 days

6

28 days

35 days

42 days

56 days

No additional time

Band 4: Response times based on >30% spend on prevention

Zone

Litter and Refuse Grade

Special Considerations

F

E

D

C

B

A

1

At the earliest practicable opportunity

8 hours

10 hours

12 hours

48 hours

Clear of litter and refuse

42 days

2

12 hours

14 hours

18 hours

4 days

49 days

3

24 hours

48 hours

60 hours

5 days

56 days

4

5 days

6 days

7 days

16 days

63 days

5

7 days

9 days

10 days

26 days

70 days

6

35 days

42 days

49 days

70 days

No additional time

As examples:

  • For a body that allocates 0-10% (band 1) of its overall spend on litter and flytipping to prevention tactics, when its category 1 zone is of a D grade, it has two hours to restore it to an A.
  • For a body that allocates >30% (band 4) of its overall spend on litter and flytipping to prevention tactics, when its category 1 zone is of a D grade, it has 10 hours to restore it to an A.

As effective prevention tactics reduce the scale of a zone’s litter and refuse problem, the need for rapid and frequent restoration to standard also reduces.

Extended response time bands recognise this principle and reward bodies for investing in appropriate preventative tactics. A body can only progress through the bands when it can demonstrate that its tactics are effective and support meeting the standard.

Further advice can be obtained from Zero Waste Scotland
www.zerowastescotland.org.uk/COPLAR


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