Aberdeenshire Council launches joint approach to tackling litter across region

Councillors have welcomed the introduction of a new strategy aimed at tackling litter and fly-tipping in the region.

Aberdeenshire Council’s Litter Prevention Action Plan will be introduced across all authority services and geographical areas.

It follows the adoption last year of the new Code of Practice on Litter and Refuse (Scotland) (CoPLAR) which provides duty holders such as Aberdeenshire Council with practical guidance on fulfilling its duties under the Environmental Protection Act 1990.

Duty holders must ensure that land under their control is kept clear of litter and refuse so far as is practicable and to ensure that any public roads for which the body is responsible are also kept clean.

CoPLAR 2018 also aligns with the Scottish Government’s national litter strategy which aims to prevent litter and fly-tipping and to encourage personal responsibility and behavior change.

The council’s Infrastructure Services Committee heard on Thursday (Nov 28) that this strategy revolves around three primary interventions:

• Information – improving communications, engagement and education around the issue
• Infrastructure – improving facilities and services provided to reduce litter and promote recycling
• Enforcement – strengthening the deterrent effect of legislation and improving enforcement processes.

Councillors were told that the strategy also identifies the benefit of Litter Prevention Action Plans which enable organisations and communities to take collective action to tackle the problem.

Infrastructure Services director Stephen Archer explains: “The work on the LPAP has identified that Waste Services provide a good level of service in relation to street cleansing.

“However, the policy and procedures which are relied on have been developed over time and are accepted as custom and practice rather than having been approved by the appropriate policy committee as a formal policy.

“The introduction of CoPLAR 2018 presented an opportunity for Waste Services to provide a clear policy and accompanying procedures which are fit for purpose.”

Aberdeenshire Council has 13 cleansing procedures which range from road sweeping, litter picking and provision of litter bins to tackling dog fouling, fly-tipping and abandoned vehicles.

It also has procedures in place to deal with enforcement, service standards and monitoring and the supporting of community and other voluntary groups.