Environmental crime

You can be prosecuted or receive a fixed penalty notice for environmental crimes which reduce the quality of life and enjoyment of the environment.

Fixed penalty notices can be issued to anyone committing an environmental crime.

What is an environmental crime?

Household bins

As a householder you have a responsibility to ensure your bins are stored properly, usually immediately within the curtilage (boundary) of your property. You need to ensure you put the correct items in your bin and they are put out for collection on the right day, at the right time. Failure to do this can result in a fixed penalty or prosecution.

Business waste

Every business is required to dispose of waste in an appropriate manner, using a registered waste contractor. Businesses must have relevant documentation relating to the disposal of the trade waste (Trade Waste Agreements or Waste Transfer Notes) and failure to produce this may result in a fixed penalty or prosecution.

Untidy land and buildings

We have the power to take steps where land and property require cleaning up when its condition adversely affects the amenity of the area. We can serve a notice on the owner requiring that work is carried out.


We can issue a fixed penalty notice to anyone seen dropping litter. We ask that residents and visitors to the borough either use a bin or take their litter home. 

Litter includes cigarette butts, chewing gum, food waste, packaging or a bag of waste discarded on the street. Littering can take place on any land (public or private) that the public have access to.

Smokers are responsible for ensuring that they completely extinguish their cigarettes before placing them in the bin. Stubbing plates are provided on many litterbins or alternatively you can purchase "stubbing pouches".

No signs or litter bins in the area?

We are not required to place ‘No littering’ signs in every street, road, highway or park/open space and it is not possible for us to place litter bins in every street or road in the borough.

Where bins are not available, it is up to everyone to act responsibly and either take their litter home or carry it until a litter bin is available.

Dog fouling

If you don’t clean up after your dog fouls on land in the open you can be issued with a fixed penalty. It is very unpleasant and carries a risk of infection to any person coming into contact with it, particularly children.

Catching offenders for dog fouling is very difficult so we always welcome information from residents about when it is occurring in their neighbourhood to help us tackle this problem.


We will take action against householders and businesses who either illegally deposit their waste or do not ensure their waste is collected by a registered waste carrier. Offenders will have to pay any costs of the investigation, clean up, vehicle recovery costs and legal fees. Report fly-tipping.

Fly posting

Fly posting is putting up unauthorised posters and stickers, usually adverts, in public places. We have a statutory duty to keep the borough clean. Fly posting is unsightly and spoils the environment. In addition, the businesses involved are gaining an unfair advantage over their law abiding competitors by not paying for advertising space. Fly posting is against the law.

Waste carriers

You are legally required to have a waste carriers license, if you carry (transport) and tip (dispose of) waste, including taking scrap metal to the scrap yard.

If you work for someone else and you carry waste for them, they must have the carrier’s license. If you don’t have a license and you carry rubbish/waste, it is likely you will be prosecuted and could even lose your vehicle depending on what you are carrying.

Abandoned vehicles

If you believe a vehicle has been abandoned and it's something we can investigate, you can report it to us.

© Wigan Council