PEOPLE with filthy, litter-strewn gardens are being told to clear them up or face the consequences.

Under tough new laws, householders who fail to clean-up could end up in court slapped with a fine of up to £2,500.

And businesses who dump waste in yards could be forced to pay up to £20,000.

The warning comes as Bradford Council brings in a zero-tolerance crackdown on litterbugs and encourages people to report anyone they see dropping rubbish in public.

The authority's no-excuses approach is intended to clean up the district while saving money.

Councillor Andrew Thornton, the Council's executive member for the environment, said littering was no longer "something we are going to put up with".


He added: "People who drop litter make the place untidy, they spoil the appearance of neighbourhoods and cost the Council taxpayer money, which could be put to much better use elsewhere.

"Rather than having to clean up after people, we would rather be spending the money on more positive things."

Council staff have welcomed the greater powers to tackle people who fill gardens or yards with rubbish, which are being rolled out across Bradford.


They said previously they had difficulties acting when residents reported litter mounting up on private property, which wasn't judged bad enough to be considered a health hazard.

Environmental services co-ordinator Amjad Ishaq said: "It is a great tool for us now, for dealing with problems we have struggled to deal with in the past.

"It is putting the victims first and asking people just to be reasonable and keep their neighbourhoods clean and tidy.

"There is no excuse really for people to put rubbish in their garden."

Under the new rules, part of the Anti-social Behaviour, Crime and Policing Act 2014, Council wardens can issue warning letters to households with rubbish-filled gardens.

If nothing is done, the case is then passed to environmental health teams who can issue a community protection notice, ordering the waste to be removed within a set time.

If this too is ignored, people can be taken to court and hit with the hefty fines.

Meanwhile, the Council's new 'zero-tolerance' crackdown on dropping litter in public starts this spring.

People who throw rubbish out of car windows, drop cigarette butts, spit out chewing gum on the streets or throw takeaway wrappers on the ground will all risk a £75 fine, Council bosses have warned.

Mr Ishaq said: "It is quite disgusting, when you look around in a town centre and there are cigarette ends everywhere."

And responsible members of the public are being urged to report any litter louts they spot.

Council figures show its street cleaning teams have to remove more than 10,000 tonnes of litter from roads, pavements, gullies and open areas each year.

Litter action days have already started across the district, but will be stepped up as part of the campaign.

So far, wardens have found they are handing out a disproportionate number of spot fines to young people aged 16 to 18, according to a new Council report, but many of these young people have been unable to pay up.

So to avoid them being taken to court and getting a criminal record, they will instead be asked to either accept a formal warning or go on a litter awareness course, similar to the speed awareness courses offered to drivers.

The anti-litter message will also be taken out to schools and takeaway restaurants.

People can report litterbugs, including people who throw rubbish out of car windows, by visiting and searching for 'litter'.