Litter and the law

Regular street cleaning is carried out across the Ards and North Down Borough every day, using a scheduled system based on 4 street sweeping zones.
The 4 street cleaning zones are defined as: 

  • Category 1 zones include town centres and shopping streets (cleaned on a daily basis)
  • Category 2 zones include high density residential areas, such as terraced housing (cleaned on a three-weekly basis)
  • Category 3 zones include low density residential areas, such as semi-detached and detached housing (cleaned on a three-weekly basis)
  • Category 4 zones are those areas not covered by any of the other three zones and include country roads (litter-picked as and when required)

For more information about the Council's street cleaning service, telephone 0300 013 3333.

Litter enforcement

The Neighbourhood Environment Team is charged with enforcing laws relating to litter. Under the Clean Neighbourhoods and Environment Act (Northern Ireland) 2011 and the Litter (Northern Ireland) Order 1994 it is a criminal offence to drop litter or dump rubbish.

Officers will actively patrol areas and investigate complaints with a view to gathering evidence and enforcing the legislation through the issue of a £200 fixed penalty notice or prosecution for more serious offences where the penalty may be £2,500.

Paying the fixed penalty fine
You must pay the fine within 28 days to avoid the possibility of prosecution.

Disputing a fine
If you want to dispute the fine you need to write to us as soon as possible after it has been issued.

In this letter you should:

  • quote the fixed penalty notice reference number (in the top right corner of the notice)
  • include all relevant information for your dispute

We'll review your case and advise you of the outcome.  If you're unsuccessful you must pay the fine in order to discharge liability to conviction.

If you don't pay the fine
If you don't pay the fixed penalty you'll be summonsed to appear in court. If convicted you could face a fine of up to £2,500.  Once a summons is issued we may accept payment of the fixed penalty. However, you'll also be liable for the additional administration and legal costs incurred.  

For more information contact the Neighbourhood Environment Team on 0300 013 3333.