[Skip to content]

Your Borough Of Poole

Code Of Practice On Litter And Refuse

About Code of Practice

We are committed to improving quality of life for all residents - and this is intrinsically linked to the quality of the local environment. The Code of Practice on Litter and Refuse, first published in 1991 and revised in November 2006, sets out standards of environmental cleanliness for local authorities and other duty bodies to meet their obligations under s.89 of the Environmental Protection Act 1990.

All areas within Poole are cleaned to standards which are defined in the Environmental Protection Act, 1990; Code of Practice on Litter and Refuse. The Code is concerned with "output" standards rather than "input" standards - that is to say, it is concerned with how clean land is, rather than how often it is swept. Expressed in its simplest terms: "If it isn't dirty, don't clean it".

Back to top

Standards of Cleanliness

Four standards of cleanliness are defined in the Code of Practice as shown below:-

  • Grade A - No litter or refuse
  • Grade B - Predominantly free of litter apart from small items
  • Grade C - Widespread distribution of litter and refuse with minor accumulations
  • Grade D - Heavily littered with significant accumulations

Back to top

Cleansing Zones

The Code of Practice also requires that local authorities categorise all relevant land into different zones. The table below shows how quickly the Council aims to restore a zone which has fallen below a Grade B.

Cleansing response times

Response times if the area falls below Grade B

High intensity of use (area which through intense pedestrian and/or vehicle movements are prone to fluctuations in litter)  ½ a day. This means by 6pm if reported before 1pm or by 1pm the next day if reported between 1pm and 6pm on the previous day.
Medium intensity of use (areas affected by moderate levels of pedestrian and vehicular activity) 1 day. This means by 6pm the following day
Low intensity of use (area subject to low or infrequent levels of pedestrian and vehicular activity 14 days
Special circumstance (land where issues of health and safety, reasonableness and practicability are dominant considerations) 28 days or as soon as reasonably practicable

Back to top

Related pages



Cleansing - Service Commitments

Contact us


01202 261700

Text Relay
18001 01202 261700

Environmental Services
Unit 1
Newfields Business Park
2 Stinsford Road
BH17 0NF