Environmental Control Unit
What do we do?
The Public Health Group is located within environmental health, in the enforcement division of Land and Environmental Services. The unit is responsible for tackling the problems associated with:
- Commercial Waste
- Dog Fouling
- Domestic Waste
- Abandoned Trailers
- Disposal of Litter
The unit is comprised of enforcement officers who have the legislative powers to put environmental legislation into effect. In addition to enforcement, this team can offer advice on litter and refuse issues to members of the public, commercial businesses and schools within the city.
The Public Health Group is part of the Clean Glasgow Campaign. This is Glasgow City Council's initiative to combat fly tipping, litter and the illegal dumping of trade waste to improve the environment for all who live and work in the city. The campaign involves enforcement action and clean up operations.
The role of the group is to enforce and provide advice on all aspects of Environmental legislation in relation to litter and refuse.
Staff within the group respond to complaints from members of the public regarding these issues on the streets, public places and even on privately owned land throughout the city.
Proactive work is also carried out in an attempt to reduce the number of complaints received. Officers routinely patrol problematic areas and work in liaison with Strathclyde police to address refuse problems.
Statutory Notices, Fixed Penalty Notices, surveillance operations and reports to the Procurator Fiscal are all methods used to help combat the problems and clean-up the city.
The group are responsible for the removal of abandoned caravans and trailers. If enforcement staff are satisfied that the vehicle is abandoned, they will attach a notice to it indicating that it is intended to remove the vehicle. Any owner of the vehicle has 24 hours to object to its removal. If the vehicle remains unclaimed it will be removed as soon as possible
Businesses of every kind have a responsibility (known as duty of care) to ensure the proper disposal of their waste using a registered waste contractor. Enforcement staff have the power to request details of waste disposal documentation to check that commercial waste has been disposed of properly. Failure to provide documentation may result in legal proceedings.
This unit targets the improper disposal of commercial refuse on the City's streets and local areas. This includes taking enforcement action against proprietors who do not have their waste presented in contractor's sacks or containers; stored safely to prevent escape of litter or pollution; protected form the effects of weather, human or animal scavenging and properly sealed in bins which are not overflowing. It is also an offence for waste to be placed outside for collection longer than is necessary. Fixed penalty Notices of £80 may be issued when presentation of commercial waste does not meet the above criteria and is therefore causing defacement by litter.
If a recurring defacement by litter or refuse problem can clearly be traced to a specific business, such as a food take away, then this unit have powers to issue a Street Litter Control Notice on the premises. Requirements of the notice shall relate to the clearing of litter from the specified area or street frontage.
Fixed penalty notices of £40 are issued under the Dog Fouling (Scotland) Act 2003 to offenders who let their dogs foul and do not immediately remove the excrement appropriately.
The penalty increases to £60 if not paid within 28 days. The 'bag it bin it' campaign is actively promoted throughout the city. Signs are mounted to lampposts and affixed in problem areas.
Many complaints are received by the Public Health Group regarding the improper disposal of household waste and bulk items such as beds, fridges, furniture, house fittings etc dumped in the streets, back courts and lanes.
Unacceptable disposal of domestic waste in back courts, gardens or privately owned land may result in a Statutory Notice being issued to the owners of the property. Non compliance with this notice will result in the local authority instructing the works to have the waste removed, and then recovering the costs from the owners of the property along with an additional admin charge.
Staff within the Unit search through bags of domestic waste which have been illegally dumped in the street and issue a £80 fixed penalty fine in cases where the waste can be traced to a particular person or address.
Enforcement staff carry out surveillance at known fly-tipping sites in order to try and control this unacceptable behaviour. Fixed penalty notices of £200 may be issued for illegally dumping rubbish, i.e. fly-tipping. Major offenders may be referred to the Procurator Fiscal without the opportunity of paying a Fixed Penalty Notice and can face a fine of up to £40,000 by the courts.
Disposal of Litter
Disposal of Litter Although the Council provides litter bins at various points throughout the City it is up to each individual to be responsible for their own litter. If there is no bin nearby, take your litter home or keep it until you find a bin. For cigarette litter smokers may wish to carry a personal ashtray.
The introduction of the smoking ban has lead to an increase in the number of complaints relating to cigarette litter in Glasgow's streets and outside commercial premises such as pubs, offices, etc. Cigarette ends are included as litter, therefore enforcement officers issue £80 fixed penalty notices to individuals who are spotted dropping and leaving cigarette ends in the street. Under their Duty of Care, proprietors of commercial premises are required to ensure that cigarette associated litter outside their premises is removed. Failure to do this can lead to a £80 fixed penalty notice for defacement by litter being issued.
Land owners also have a responsibility to keep their land clean and free from litter. If they fail to do so then enforcement officers have the power to serve a statutory notice on them requiring the removal of the litter. Failure to comply with such a notice will result in the local authority instructing the removal of the waste, then recovering any costs incurred from doing so along with an additional admin charge.
For areas where recurring littering problems are becoming detrimental to the amenities of the locality, this unit can designate Litter Control Areas and impose conditions requiring the area to be kept clean.
Authorised officers carry out joint patrols on a regular basis with Strathclyde police in all areas of the city.
Land and Environmental Services
231 George Street
Phone: 0845 270 1558
Fax: 0141 287 8101