Street cleaning and the standards that need to be met are governed by the Environmental Protection Act 1990. The council does not adhere to a strict cleaning schedule, but instead cleans the streets to an agreed level of cleanliness on a cycle.
Cleaner and greener
The council and Serco are attempting to improve standards year on year, in fact one of the council's corporate promises is to make the borough cleaner and greener. The council has an Environmental Enforcement Policy in place to tackle nuisance activities such as littering, fly-tipping and abandoned vehicles.
Serco have introduced two new Hako sweepers to clean the town and neighbourhood centres. A large Johnson Sweeper is used to sweep the main roads, whilst two mid-range Johnson Sweepers are used to sweep residential streets. Additionally, more street cleaners are being employed working longer hours into the evenings and at weekends.
The borough's roads are divided into zones, depending on the volume of traffic/people using them each day. The more frequently a road is used, the more litter will accumulate and therefore the more often it will be litter picked/swept. Generally speaking, town centres and shopping parades are visited daily. The remainder of the borough is swept roughly on a 13 week cycle, and this is when detritus (the black mush that collects in gullies and at the side of the road) is dealt with.
However, if the visual appearance of a public area should deteriorate to an unacceptable level between cleans, it will be cleaned up to an acceptable standard within a certain timeframe, as laid down in the DEFRA Code of Practice on Litter and Refuse 2006 [791KB] and the Environmental Protection Act 1990. This sets out grades against which various levels of litter can be judged. The zone that that road belongs to, and the litter grade awarded affects the reaction time in which the council can respond.
The Keep Britain Tidy campaign estimates that more than 100,000 trolleys go astray from supermarkets each year. This costs local authorities approximately £5 million per year to clean up.
If you would like to report an abandoned shopping trolley, contact the retailer to which it belongs. The more calls the retailers receive the more aware they will become of the problems they are causing.
Missing dogs and cats
Pets found dead will be scanned for a microchip and stored for seven days. If the details are available to us we will notify the owner.
Dead animals on public land
The council will remove dead animals from open spaces, accessible to the public, including the pavements within two working days.
Animals found dead on private property are the responsibility of the landowner. Their removal may be carried out by us upon notification but will attract a service charge of £23.50 including VAT.
With over 500 miles of road verges and over 50 square miles of open spaces in the borough it is impossible for us to know of every problem and we value information from the public alerting us to problem areas. Problem areas can be reported by filling in our online street cleaning report form or contact us.
Obstacles such as parked vehicles, shop displays and hoardings etc, can block the access of our machines and therefore may impact on the thoroughness of the sweeping.
For cleansing issues on the highway which you perceive pose a danger to the public, please report these to Hertfordshire County Council who have a duty to keep the highways (which include the road, pavement and lay-bys) clear of hazards.
Clearance of litter on private land is the responsibility of the landowner. For example schools are legally responsible for clearing the litter from their own grounds.
Leaf fall is managed separately.