Dropped litter can last a very long time. For example, a plastic bottle can last indefinitely, aluminium cans 80 to 100 years, plastic bags will last 10 to 20 years, even biodegradable items such as orange peel, apple cores, banana skins and cigarette butts can last up to two years.
The council has to comply with cleanliness standards as set out in the Code of Practice on Litter and Refuse. Cleanliness grades (A to D) set out how clean an area should be and cleanliness standards dictate response time for cleaning up an area.
The table below shows response times for bringing different areas back to an acceptable standard of cleanliness:
|How much litter is there?||When located in town centres||In high density residential areas and busy parks||In low density residential areas and other parks|
|Quite a lot of litter with small build ups (Grade C)||3 hours||6 hours||12 hours|
|A lot of litter with significant build ups (Grade D)||1 hour||3 hours||6 hours|