Rubbish in gardens

When is it a statutory nuisance?

Rubbish can become a statutory nuisance when it includes items that may cause risk or harm to health or is a nuisance to neighbouring properties, for example:

  • A build up of bin bags containing food waste in a garden causing unpleasant odours and flies
  • Rotting food or materials which may attract rats or other vermin
  • Rubbish which may provide shelter for rodents.

What you can do

You could initially try contacting your neighbour yourself - many complaints can be resolved by simply talking politely to the person causing the problem. Explain to them how the rubbish is affecting you and ask if they could remove it. In most instances they may not be aware they are causing you a problem - see advice on how to approach this conversation.

They may just need help to manage their waste and to clear the build up, especially if they are elderly or infirm. 

Do NOT:

  • Approach your neighbour if you don't feel safe
  • Approach your neighbour when you feel angry or very upset
  • Be argumentative or use threatening behaviour.

However, if the problem continues you can report it to us.

How do I report rubbish in gardens?

To report rubbish in gardens, you will need to:

What happens next?

If we are satisfied that a statutory nuisance exists, then we will require the person responsible for the rubbish or the owner of the land to remove the rubbish within a set period of time, usually 28 days.

If the waste is not removed within the given time, the person responsible may be served with a Community Protection Notice. Failure to comply with a legal notice may result in the council removing the waste and invoicing the landowner for the work, plus an extra legal charge. This usually costs between £300 and £1,000.

Please remember that it is against the law to burn household or garden waste at home or in your garden. Excess waste should be passed to an authorised waste removal service.

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