Street Cleansing


Street Cleansing

 Street CleansingWhat is 'Street Cleansing'?

The term "street cleansing" covers a wide variety of tasks that are undertaken to ensure that our streets are kept presentable and involves looking after approximately 760 km (472 miles) of adopted roads, together with other land such as car parks, lay-bys and footpaths.

Street cleansing means the removal of dirt, litter, debris and grit from adopted highways. It also includes litter picking roadside verges, fly tip clearance, emptying dog and litter bins, removal of dead animals and emergency road clearance (for example after a road traffic accident). 

All these tasks are undertaken either at regular programmed intervals or as and when required to keep our streets looking clean and tidy.

Street Cleansing in Epping Forest District

Under the Environmental Protection Act 1990, Epping Forest District Council is responsible for keeping the public highways free from litter.

The Code of Practice on Litter and Refuse (COPLR)

The standard for road cleanliness is formally set out in central government's Code of Practice on Litter and Refuse (COPLR).  Please use the following link if you would like to download a copy

How does it work?

The roads in the district are inspected (and cleansed if necessary) on a regular basis.  Our programme of inspection tries to ensure that as many roads as possible are inspected and maintained to the Grade A or Grade B standard at all times.  (Please see an explanation of these grades below).

GRADE A - Virtually no litter or refuse

GRADE B - Predominantly free from litter apart from small items

GRADE C - Widespread distribution of litter with minor accumulations

GRADE D - Heavily littered with significant accumulations.

Frequency of inspection (Road Zones)

Different roads (or parts of roads) will need cleansing at different frequencies as the amount of litter and detritus that accumulates depends on the amount of vehicles and people using the road.  For example a High Street will accumlate litter more quickly then a quiet residential road, or a busy main thoroughfare that cuts through the district will become more littered then a quiet rural country lane.  Each road in the district has therefore been assigned a street cleansing "Zone" - these zones will determine how often the road is inspected and cleansed.

In this district we use 4 zones

  • Z Zone roads are visited three times a day Mon to Sat (spread evenly throughout the day until 8 pm .  These roads are also litter picked (but not swept) on Sundays.
  • High Zone roads are visited twice each day Mon to Sat (Spread evenly throughout the day). These roads are also litter picked (but not swept) on Sundays.
  • Medium Zone roads are visited once each day Mon to Sat. Again these roads are also litter picked (but not swept) on Sundays.
  • Low Zone roads are visited and cleansed once every 14 days (Monday to Friday).

Roads which have higher concentrations of pedestrian or vehicle traffic such as High Street shopping areas will therefore need more frequent visits by the cleansing crews to keep them to Grade A.  These will be given a "High Zone" or "Z Zone" rating whereas ordinary residential roads will be given a "Low Zone".

We currently have over 30 operatives in the street cleansing team. 

We also have a fleet of large mechanical road sweepers and smaller mechanical pavement brooms. 

The street cleansing services operatives throughout the year including bank holidays (with the exception of Christmas Day when only the emergency call out crew is available for police or highway emergencies.)

To find out when your road will be cleansed, please call 01992 564608

Litter and Dog Waste Bins

Litter bins should never be more than 2/3 full before being emptied.  Any waste surrounding the bins should also be collected.  All dog waste bins are checked and emptied on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.

Mechanical Sweeping

The kerbside channels and pavements on many roads are cleansed by mechanical sweeping.

Leaf Clearance

Additional street cleansing is undertaken for heavily leafed areas during the autumn leaf fall season

Weed Spraying

Weed spraying is carried out on adopted highways on behalf of the Highways Section of Essex County Council.  The number of times the district is sprayed for weeds is decided each year by Essex County Council.  Generally it is twice or three times a year

trash can


Fly Tipping

fly tipping


Fly tipping is the unlawful disposal of waste and illegal dumping of items without a permit.  It is an eyesore that can be dangerous and pollutes land and waterways.

Read more: Fly Tipping

The Household Duty of Care

The 2005 The Waste (Household Waste) Duty of Care (England and Wales) Regulations came into force.  These regulations place a legal duty of care on every household to ensure that their  waste is stored and disposed of in an appropriate and legal manner.  This means that:-

  1. You need to ensure that your rubbish is contained in such a way that it cannot cause a nuisance.
  2. You need to ensure that if you dispose of any rubbish yourself you do so by taking it to a licensed, authorised waste disposal site.
  3. You need to ensure that, if you use someone else to get rid of your rubbish (whether paid or not) that they are licensed to carry waste and are taking it to a licensed, authorised disposal site.

If you do not do this and your waste ends up being fly-tipped somewhere, you could be held liable and fined for the offence of fly-tipping or not taking care of your waste.

If you have any waste or rubbish that you cannot put out with your wheelie bin or recycling you can:-

  • Check if you can book a pre-paid special collection by phoning 01992 564608
  • Take it to a Recycling Centre for Household Waste - please check the Essex County Council


Phone Contact us....

Telephone: 01992 564608


Or you can write to us at:
Recycling & Waste, Environment & Street Scene, Epping Forest District Council, Civic Offices, High Street,  Epping, Essex CM16 4BZ

View our full contact details


When are my bins emptied?

Click here for details of our 4 day collection service

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