Section 46 Notice – Environmental Protection Act 1990

We are piloting the use of Section 46 notices in areas of “Crewe South”  to deal with poor domestic waste management.

Section 46 notice is a legal notice about dealing with rubbish and bins. Households who have this notice served on them need to follow the rules about what they should do with their domestic wheeled bins (Black, Grey and Brown) and will include:

  • where to place your bins for collection
  • times you should put your bin out and return your bin to your property
  • what you should and should not put in your bin
  • that you should not put excess waste (bagged, bulky or otherwise) out for collection

Being served with a Section 46 notice

We may serve a Section 46 notice on all households in a street if we have received high levels of reports about:

  • fly tipping (bulky waste, such as beds, mattresses, TV’s, fridges, furniture etc)
  • bins being left out past collection day causing issues for other residents, or leaving them vulnerable to being damaged, contaminated, or taken by other residents
  • high levels of excess black bagged waste being left at collection points (whether that be at the front of a property or at the end of an alleyway)

In most circumstances, a Section 46 notice affirms the rules that all residents should be following when putting their domestic waste out for collection. The legal notice means that for those that are persistently not following the rules, we will be able to take enforcement action against them.

Being served with a Section 46 notice does not necessarily mean that you are breaking these rules. Being served with a notice tells those residents who are following the rules that we are taking positive action to change the behaviour people who are not. So if you are correctly managing your waste, you do not need to worry.

If the rules of the notice are broken

We issue legal warnings to:

  1. the household
  2. if the bad behaviour continues we will issue a warning to a named person in the household
  3. if the bad behaviour continues we will issue a Fixed Penalty Notice (FPN).

A Fixed Penalty Notice is a Civil Fine. If the fine is not paid we will refer the case to our legal team with a view to starting legal proceedings.

If you have been issued with a fine this will be via a legal letter from our Community Enforcement Team. The letter provides you with all of the required reference numbers, appeals process and methods of payment. If you have lost your letter you can contact the Community Enforcement Team on 0300 123 5021 who will provide you with the relevant information.


A resident may wish to appeal a written warning. We give our contact details on any written warning that we issue to residents in relation to breaches of a Section 46 notice. Our officers will always engage with residents to offer assistance and advice to resolve their problems.

The enforcement process we use means we notify residents that a problem has been identified and provide opportunities for residents to explain the circumstances and ask for support. We will only issue fixed penalties for the persistent cases where a resident refuses to manage their waste properly.

Other enforcement methods

We use Section 46 notices to tell residents the rules about using their wheeled bins and collection points. We will use other laws for dealing with waste that is not inside a wheeled bin. As these are criminal offences it means higher financial and criminal penalties if people are found guilty. We may use other legislation covering fly tipping, or Residential Duty of Care offences with residents who blatantly dump rubbish or put out bulky waste for collection or numerous bags of waste.

Page last reviewed: 16 April 2021