We have powers to deal with accumulations of rubbish on private, domestic or commercial premises that may be a public health nuisance. This is covered by the Environmental Protection Act 1990 where the waste may be prejudicial to health or a nuisance, and the Prevention of Damage by Pest Act 1949, where it is likely to attract rodents.

Rubbish which may cause a statutory nuisance includes items which could cause risk to health or a nuisance to neighbouring properties. For example:

  • An accumulation of refuse sacks containing food waste in your neighbour’s garden which gives rise to unpleasant odours and flies
  • Rotting food or materials which may attract rats or other vermin
  • Rubbish which may provide a habitat for rats and mice for example mattresses, sofas and soft furnishings.
  • We will not investigate an overgrown garden which is simply an eyesore.

What happens after a report?

We will investigate the report and decide if the waste poses a risk to public health or is considered likely to attract rodents. If we determine it does, we will  ask the persons responsible to clear the waste. 

Where the owner or occupier of the land is unwilling to cooperate with advice, and informal requests to remove the accumulation are ignored, we may take formal enforcement action and serve a Notice requiring them to remove it within a specified period of time.

The scope of the notice will vary depending on circumstances and may also stipulate specific 'works' or maintenance schedules to keep the land or property  free from rodents and in a manner that will not cause further problems. 

If the accumulation is not removed in accordance with the specifications of the Notice we may carry out one or both of the following:

  • arrange for removal of the accumulation and recover all reasonable costs incurred (including our time) from the person on whom the notice was served
  • prosecute the person on whom the notice was served

 If you have seen an accumulation of waste you think poses a risk report it to us here.