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A major contributor to roadside litter, particularly on motorways, are spillages from skip lorries and bulk waste transporters.

This 30 second video shows what is happening on a regular basis.

However the Environment Agency have only prosecuted one such offending company since Jan 2000 and that was at my instigation. They have admitted that they are no longer funded to do this work.

In spite of this the governments went on to say in their April 2017 Litter Strategy on page 56:




Material falling or coming out of a vehicle carrying waste is an escape of waste. Producers of waste also have a duty to ensure vehicles do not leave their site inappropriately covered or sealed. This can be enforced by local authorities or the Environment Agency under Section 34 of the Environment Protection Act 1990“.

Highways England obstinately refuse to accept that they can and should prosecute these offences.

Even though in this letter the DfT have confirmed that HE can prosecute under EPA S34  nothing is done.

All posts on Litter from Waste Transporters


Peter Silverman
31st January 2019


There is no reason why Highways England cannot prosecute individuals who commit Environmental Protection Act S87 –  leaving litter  and S34 – Duty of care as respects waste (e.g. for refuse falling from waste transport vehicles) offences while driving on their network.

The Environmental Protection Act makes no reference as to who can and cannot prosecute the offences it lays down. This is because under English Common Law, apart from some specific offences reserved for the Director of Public Prosecutions anyone can prosecute  any offence.  Here are the relevant sections of The Prosecution of Offences Act 1985: Continue reading »


The Office of Rail & Road are the statutory monitor of Highways England

In this e-mail from ORR of 15th February 2017  they stated that “assessing Highways England’s compliance with the specific provisions in s.89 is outside the scope of ORR’s functions”.

All posts on the ORR

Peter Silverman
24th January 2019


Summary of government’s Litter Strategy

On January 18, 2019, in DEFRA, Litter Strategy, by PeterSilverman

This is how DEFRA summarised the Litter Strategy  for England on page 91 of their 25 year Environment Plan

Reducing litter and littering

The Litter Strategy for England sets out our aim to clean up the country and cut both litter and littering behaviours by means of better education, enforcementand ‘binfrastructure’ (the design, numberand location of public litter bins and so on).

The Litter Strategy also sets out a compelling economic case for all businesses to invest in anti-litter activities– perhaps by adopting voluntary measures that aim to increase recycling and reduce litter, or through product design, behavioural research and investment in campaigns. We will also work with relevant industries to tackle particular red flags such as discarded fast-food packaging, smoking-related litter and chewing gum.

We will deliver a new national anti-litter campaign and work on developing a culture that teaches young people not to litter.

We will take stronger action against those who litter. Subject to parliamentary approval, new regulations will give councils outside London the power to fine keepers of vehicles from which litter is thrown, and we have laid new regulations to increase fixed penalties for littering and related offences. We will provide improved guidance on the appropriate and proportionate use of these powers, and encourage councils to be transparent about enforcement activity.

Finally, we will seek to improve the infrastructure in place for people to dispose of litter. Working with Highways England we will tackle litter on the Strategic Road Network and update the Code of Practice on Litter and Refuse to clarify expected standards. We willproduce new guidance on ‘binfrastructure’to help local areas reduce levels of litter, as set out in our Litter Strategy for England. We are committed to encouraging the use of behavioural insights to develop and test new ways to reduce litter. We have also launched anew ‘litter innovation fund’ to pilot andevaluate small scale local research projects that have the potential for wider application.

Actions we will take include:

We will continue to implement the Government’s Litter Strategy forEngland, including:

  •   Introducing new regulations to improve local authorities’enforcement powers, supported by new guidance on its proportionate use.
  •   Developing a national anti- littering campaign, led by the government and funded by the private sector.
  •   Distributing a £450,000 litter Innovation Fund to pilot, implement and evaluate small scale local research projects that could be replicated more widely.



It is not clear if compliance with the statutory  “Duty to keep land and highways clear of litter” would be enforceable by the new Office for Environmental Protection?

We will campaign to ensure that they will have this power when the legislation is enacted.

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Extract from HE’s Protocol for joint working on Highway Cleansing issues between Sub Regional Local Authority Districts, Highways England and their Contractors

Section 89(2) of the Environmental Protection Act 1990 places a duty on the Secretary of State in respect of motorways, and on local authorities in respect of all other publicly maintainable highways in their area, to ensure that the highway or road is, so far as is practicable, kept clean. This is in addition to the section 89(1) requirement which relates to litter and refuse and therefore means removal of detritus.

In such cases the EPA requires the duty bodies to ensure their roads are kept clear of litter and refuse as far as is “practicable”.

“Practicable” however simply means “physically possible” without the need to take account of cost, time and trouble. This is in contrast to “reasonably practicable” where these considerations would come into play. Local authorities cannot therefore use traffic management as an excuse for not carrying out cleansing work on trunk roads …

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Litter laws – Massachussets

On December 21, 2018, in Litter fines, by PeterSilverman

Local Government in England outside London

On December 3, 2018, in Legislation, Local Authorities, by PeterSilverman


The Local Government Act 1972 split the country outside Greater London into metropolitan counties  and non- metropolitan counties each divided into districts.  For every county  and every district there was to be a council – county councils and district councils (both are  principal councils).  The split of functions between the 2 tiers are different in the metropolitan and non-metropolitan counties. This regime still exists in some non- metropolitan counties aka shires. However in …

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