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Litter

Legally speaking, the word litter is given a wide interpretation. Litter can be as small as a sweet wrapper, as large as a bag of rubbish, or it can mean lots of items scattered about.

Sign the pledge to make a #LitterlessCornwall here

Use our online form below to report a litter bin that needs:

  • emptying
  • repairing
  • relocating
  • removing

 The map will display all the following litter bin types:

  • barbeque bins
  • dog waste bins
  • litter bins
  • combined litter and dog waste bins
  • street recycling bins

Report an issue with a litter bin

Cornwall Council provide over 4,700 litter/dog waste bins across Cornwall. 

These are regularly emptied and should never be overflowing so there is no excuse for rubbish to become litter.

  • Use the new dual purpose black bins for any type of litter including dog waste.
  • Only use the old style red dog waste bins for dog waste.
  • Private landowners who provide their own bins are responsible for emptying them.

Litter looks horrible, it spoils our environment and quality of life:

  • Research shows that high levels of litter and a poor quality local environment can deter economic activity and investment.
  • Litter and graffiti can help create a poor image of local neighbourhoods. This can lead to an increased fear of crime.
  • Litter can affect people's health by attracting animals and insects that carry diseases.
  • Litter can also be hazardous to wildlife. This is particularly an issue at the seaside. Litter can get tangled in or ingested by fish, mammals and other wildlife.

Dropping litter is a criminal offence under Section 87 of the Environmental Protection Act 1990.

You are within your rights to ask someone to pick up litter if you see them dropping it, but please ensure your personal safety is not put at risk. The same applies if you see litter thrown from cars.

We want to encourage local people not to drop litter and instead help keep the environment clean. We want to achieve a litter-free county and enforcing the law is an important part of achieving this aim. Authorised officers can issue fixed penalty notices of £150 for littering offences. Failure to pay may result in a prosecution before a Magistrates Court with a fine of up to £2,500. Please see our Littering Offence for more information.

Research shows that people are most likely to litter when walking or travelling in a vehicle. It seems that when in a vehicle people feel less accountable and identifiable.  It's also clear that people think it is more acceptable to drop litter if an area is already run-down or dirty. The research found that they would think twice about littering if:

  • they were in their own neighbourhood
  • the area was tidy or presentable or
  • they were with children

Installing and servicing a new bin is very costly and we are not currently installing any extra bins on the land we own or manage. Often a new bin will not stop people dropping their litter or dog waste in the area.

If a specific area becomes littered please report it via our Street Care and Cleaning page.  Our officers will monitor the area to ensure cleansing standards are maintained. 

If a bin is frequently vandalised we may need to conduct a review before we put a replacement bin at that specific location again.