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Glasgow City Council

Street Sweeping

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Street cleansing and litter

We provide a 24 hour street cleansing and litter service to the city, seven days a week, 365 days a year.

This service is responsible for maintaining 358,213 km of streets; managing 100 km2 of public spaces; uplifting 5,000 street litter bins across 56 neighbourhoods in the city; collecting and disposing of around 11,500 tonnes of street litter; and removing litter from the River Clyde (where access is available and is safe to do so).

Street cleansing and litter legislation and guidance

Under the Environmental Protection Act 1990, the responsibility for clearing litter from streets and public areas lies with local authorities. Provided the standards in the Code of Practice on Litter and Refuse (Scotland) 2018 (COPLAR) are met, local authorities are free to determine how best to fulfil their litter clearing duties. COPLAR provides practical guidance on the discharge of duties imposed on all relevant bodies to keep specified land clear of litter and refuse.

The Code has two key principles:

  • Areas which are habitually more heavily trafficked should have accumulations of litter cleared away more quickly than less heavily trafficked areas; and
  • Larger accumulations of litter and refuse should be cleared more quickly than smaller accumulations.

We operate scheduled operations, throughout each neighbourhood of the city through;

  • Mechanical sweeping routes
  • Response team sweeping routes
  • Manual routes

These operations are based upon zonal categories defined within the Code, i.e.

  • Category 1 Zone - town centres, shopping streets, major transport centres
  • Category 2 Zone - high density residential areas
  • Category 3 Zone - low density residential areas

In addition to scheduled maintenance, the service responds continuously to litter problems through non-scheduled operations, such as;

  • Reacting to litter and fly tipping issues
  • High number of issues on a daily basis
  • Has the effect of diverting resources from routine operations
  • Hotspot locations

Reporting a litter problem

You can report litter in your area via our online application.

Click on the 'report an issue' section on this page under Get in Touch or click on this web link.

Alternatively you can phone 0141 287 9700.

Get in Touch

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