Clamping down on litter louts on wheels has become easier thanks to Leeds Council’s use of new laws which stop vehicle owners dodging responsibility.
Environmental enforcement officers have collected the first Penalty Charge Notice fee from the registered keeper of a vehicle from which litter was dumped, rather than having to identify the specific culprit.
Now if litter is dropped from a vehicle, the keeper of the vehicle, identified through the registration number, can be held responsible whoever threw it out.
Enforcement officers wanted to bring the law into force earlier this year but the Covid-19 outbreak delayed its implementation.
Dropping litter from a vehicle results in a Fixed Penalty Notice of £100, reduced to £80 if it is paid within two weeks.
If the civil penalty is not paid on time, the amount automatically doubles. The Council can recover unpaid amounts as a civil debt or via a county court order.
To issue a civil penalty for littering from a vehicle, enforcement officers have to be satisfied that, on the balance of probabilities, litter was thrown from that vehicle.
The Council’s preferred income from littering Fixed Penalty Notices would be nothing at all, as this would show that people cared enough about their environment to dispose of their rubbish responsibly.
“It is frustrating that we have to use legislation such as this to penalise the minority of anti-social people who would happily leave our roads and pavements strewn with litter.
“This not about money, it is about pride in our district which starts from the bottom up and I hope word gets around quickly that the likelihood of litter louts being held responsible for their actions has now significantly increased.
“If anyone sees anyone committing litter offences, we would ask them to report it to Leeds Council and help us stamp out this menace.”
The process comes under The Environmental Protection Act 1990 Section 33 (5) – ‘Flytipping from a vehicle’. The offence can be reported through the normal fly-tipping routes on the council’s website and this will be followed up so the witness can provide evidence and statements for the court purposes.
We provide and empty litter bins in public areas throughout Leeds. Depending on how busy the area is we arrange for bins to be emptied either daily or two or three times a week.
To report a full litter bin or enquire about provision of a new bin please use the Report a problem with a litter bin or dog bin form. https://my.leeds.gov.uk/Pages/Form%20Pages/ReportLitterOrDogFouling.aspx Please remember to include the location of the bin.
We take legal action when someone is caught dropping litter, or throwing it out of vehicles. This includes paper, chewing gum, cans, bottles, waste food, food and drink containers, plastic and cigarette ends.
There is a £100 (discounted to £80 for early repayment) fixed penalty fine and failure to pay will result in prosecution leading to a maximum fine of £2,500 if found guilty.
Litter thrown from vehicles
We can issue fixed penalty notices to deter people from throwing litter from vehicles. Please use the Report litter online form to help us gather the evidence we need to issue a fine.
You will need to let us know:
- the time and date of the offence
- the registration, colour, make and model of the vehicle
- a description of the person who threw the litter (and whether they were the person driving)
- a description of the litter
Unfortunately, we are unable to accept video footage at the moment, but you can still provide a statement of what you witnessed by reporting using the online form.
Do not put yourself or other road users at any sort of risk when collecting evidence