Litter Abatement Orders under EPA Section 91
Section 91 of the Environmental Protection Act – Summary proceedings by persons aggrieved by litter says a magistrates’ court may act on a complaint made by any person on the ground that he is aggrieved by the defacement, of any relevant land of a duty body land by litter or refuse.
Duty bodies include local authorities, educational institutions, the Secretary of State for Transport (for the motorways) and designated statutory undertakers such as Network Rail and London Underground.
The duty body has to be given 5 days notice.
If at the hearing the court is satisfied that the land is defaced they may make an order, i.e. an litter abatement order, requiring the duty body to clear the litter / refuse away within a specified time.
If the court is satisfied that when the complaint was made the land was defaced by litter/ refuse and that there were reasonable grounds for making it the court shall order the duty body to pay the costs incurred by the complainant in bringing the complaint.
In other words if the land has been cleaned by the time the case gets to court the complainant, provided he can provide convincing evidence of defacement on the day of his complaint and he can show he had reasonable grounds for making it, for example by showing the existence of a long term problem, he should get his costs and not have to bear the costs of the defendant.
How the M40 was cleaned up (at least for a while)