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Litter -problem

We are responsible for removing litter from pavements, streets and public land.


Litter can include cigarette ends, chewing gum, sweet wrappers, receipts, cans and fast food packaging.

Some litter takes years to degrade, causing significant harm to wildlife and the environment. It also spoils the appearance of an area and can lead to further crime being committed.

For example, dog fouling, broken glass, graffiti, fly-posting, fly-tipping and abandoned vehicles.

On average, we remove around 40 tonnes of litter every week at a cost of over £2 million a year.

The quicker litter and fly-tipping is removed the less likely it will be added to.

Discarded cigarette ends make up the largest proportion of litter in Carmarthenshire. In fact, around 80 per cent of streets have smoking-related litter on them. 

Cigarette ends not only look unpleasant but they are also very difficult and costly to clean up - they fall into grates and cracks in the pavement which makes them almost impossible to remove by normal cleaning methods. 

Cigarette ends can take up to 12 years to break down, they can be eaten by children and animals and can contaminate water supplies because they contain toxic chemicals, such as cadmium, lead and zinc which leach into the soil and waterways.

Figures show that fast food litter such as chip wrappers, crisp packets, drinks cartons and half eaten food can be found on 13% of our streets.
It might take just minutes to eat but the packaging takes years to break down, it looks unsightly, attracts vermin and is dangerous for local wildlife. 

Litter can make areas more susceptible to other, more serious types of crime as well. We work with fast-food restaurants to raise awareness of the problem and encourage people to dispose of their rubbish more responsibly.

Not only is chewing gum litter an eyesore but it can stick to people’s clothes and shoes and it is difficult and costly to clean up. It costs just 3p to produce a stick of chewing gum, but around 10p to clean it off the streets! 

Remember to put your gum in the bin and that dropping litter – and this includes chewing gum – is an offence. 

Litter from vehicles is a major problem throughout the UK with cigarette ends, crisp packets, drinks cans and fast food littering our verges. Research by Keep Britain Tidy shows that 23% of people are likely to throw litter from their car; and it is getting worse.

We are asking for your help to keep our county clean by reporting anyone you see dropping litter from a vehicle. Note the registration number along with the car make, model and colour if possible as well as the date and time of the offence and then report it using i-Local. Our environmental enforcement officers can then make inquiries to identify the offender.

Visit i-Local to report a litter problem online or call 01267 234567. 

Useful documents

Page updated on: 07/03/2017

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