Environmental guidance for your business in Northern Ireland & Scotland

Litter nuisances

Litter nuisances

What you must do

You must ensure that any waste produced, stored, transported or disposed of by your business does not harm the environment. This is known as your duty of care, and you must ensure that you:

  • store and transport your waste appropriately and securely to prevent it from escaping
  • check that your waste is transported and handled by people or businesses that are authorised to do so
  • complete waste transfer notes to record all waste you transfer and keep them as a record for at least two years.

See our guide on the duty of care - your waste responsibilities

If you fail to deal with a litter problem, your local council could issue you with a fine.

Street litter control notices

If it can be proved that certain litter problems have been caused by your business, your local council can issue a street litter control notice against you. This notice forces your business to clear the litter and introduces specific measures to prevent the recurrence of littering.

If you do not comply with your street litter control notice, you can be prosecuted. Alternatively, the local council may issue you with a fixed penalty notice.

Outdoor advertising

If you want to advertise your business using outdoor signs, you must ensure that you do not cause a litter nuisance. Your outdoor advertisements must:

  • be kept clean and tidy
  • be kept in a safe condition
  • be displayed with the permission of the owner of the site
  • not obscure official road, rail, waterway or aircraft signs or make hazardous the use of these types of transport
  • be removed carefully when required.

Depending on the type of advertising your business wants to use, you may need advertising consent from your local council. Subject to conditions, you do not need consent to display signs in the following areas:

  • enclosed land - eg bus or train stations and sports stadiums
  • inside your own building.

Some other signs can be displayed without consent, provided they conform to certain conditions and limitations. This includes signs relating to hotels, bed and breakfasts, and houses.

You may need consent to display the following advertisements:

  • posters
  • illuminated signs
  • gable-end advertising
  • shop-front fascias.

Further information

Tidy Northern Ireland: Litter information

Keep Scotland Beautiful: Code of practice on litter

Northern Ireland Planning: Outdoor advertisements

Return to Nuisances home page

Whats new on NetRegs

  • Waste – Duty of Care Roles and Responsibilities

    The Northern Ireland Environment Agency has published a short guide to the duty of care responsibilities including advice and information for waste producers, carriers and those accepting, storing and treating waste.

    https://www.daera-ni.gov.uk/publications/waste-duty-care-responsibilities

  • NetRegs:- FREE, ANONYMOUS, PLAIN ENGLISH GUIDANCE FOR BUSINESSES

  • EIA (Agriculture) Regulations for Northern Ireland

    Any person intending to alter the use or management of areas of uncultivated or semi-natural land must obtain prior approval from the Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs (DAERA).

    Read more on the DAERA website

  • Guidance from your environmental regulator

    Regulator logos

  • 9 NEW GPPs (Guidance for Pollution Prevention) available now

    The NetRegs team at SEPA, in partnership with The Northern Ireland Environment Agency, Natural Resources Wales and a number of industry bodies have produced 9 new GPPs to replace out of date PPGs. More are coming! Check the available topics

  • New guidance

    New guidance for Start-ups, charities and community projects

    http://www.netregs.org.uk/environmental-topics/environmental-management/first-steps-guidance-for-new-starts-projects-and-charities/

NetRegs on NetRegs on youTube

View our latest videos & subscribe to our channel.

NetRegs Update Newsletter

Free monthly email newsletter with environmental updates for Northern Ireland and Scotland

Sign up for free today!

Permits

NIEA - Apply online

SEPA - Application forms