A cleaner, greener borough

The Big Clean Up!

In September 2017 the council launched a ‘Love Your Neighbourhood’ campaign, encouraging people to work with us to improve the areas where they live. As a part of this, we are also asking local people to ‘Love Clean Streets’.

Last year we collected almost 7,000 tonnes of litter and detritus. We want to work with residents to keep areas clean and that means asking you not to drop litter, fly tipping or post graffiti.

In October 2017, we launched our first Big Clean Up event – a series of activities when council officers, volunteers, partners, councillors and staff went out into the borough to tidy areas up.

Since then, a total of five Big Clean Ups having taken place - with more and more volunteers and partners getting involved, and more rubbish being collected.

You can read more about what we did by checking our press notices on:

The Big Clean Up 3

The Big Clean Up 4

The Big Clean Up 5.

The 5th Big Clean Up: 2-8 October

Our fifth Big Clean Up came to an end on 8 October. 

For future Big Clean Up events, if you have an area you wish to nominate, or you want to get involved and flex some civic pride, simply email communications@towerhamlets.gov.uk or let us know on Facebook or Twitter using the hashtag #TheBigCleanUp. 

Everything you need in terms of equipment is supplied and the Clean and Green team will be there to support you. So if you have a sense of civic pride, or just want to get involved - why not get involved?  

Street cleansing

It is the council’s responsibility to ensure that all the streets in the Borough are kept clean and safe. Street Cleansing operations are carried out by Veolia on behalf of the council.

Streets are cleaned under the Environmental Protection Act 1990.  There are set schedules for the streets to be cleaned, but they also are expected to be kept at an acceptable standard outside of the schedules. 

Street cleansing includes emptying of all litter bins, reporting damaged bins and street furniture, removal of all litter, dirt, dust, leaves.

The council aims to return any street reported as being dirty to an acceptable level of cleanliness within 24 hours.

Find it, Fix it, Love it app

Tell us what you love about Tower Hamlets or alert us to something that needs fixing with the Find it, Fix it, Love it app.

Download the free Find it, Fix it, Love it app from the Apple App Store or via Google Play. Search for FiFiLi.

The app has been launched as part of the council’s commitment to making the borough an even cleaner and safer p

lace to live, work or visit and will enable users to share what they love about the borough.

Through Find it, Fix it, Love it the council wants people to send pictures and share their thoughts of the many great aspects of the borough; anything from a special place or landmark, to a quirky shop or local character.

Take a picture, tell us about it and we'll share your wonderful snaps to show how great Tower Hamlets is.

By using the app residents and visitors can also instantly tell the council about any issues that need addressing such as graffiti, fly tipping, broken play equipment, pot holes or over flowing bins. 

Simply take a picture of a problem and the app will pinpoint your location and send the details directly to the council’s environmental contractors, ensuring that problems are dealt with swiftly.

The app also allows users to highlight specific areas on the image or send comments and contact details if they want feedback, but this is optional, making the process very quick and simple.

This privacy notice will give you an overview of how the council will handle your data.

App store logo   . Google Play logo

Big Belly Pilot gets underway!Brick Lane bin

Smart bins called Big Belly Bins have been installed in Tower Hamlets. The bins have the ability to self compact to reach a greater storage of litter and can store up to 5 times the normal capacity of a standard litter bin. A total of nine bins have replaced existing public litter bins in high footfall areas. 

You can find a Big Belly bin in the following areas:

  • Aldgate East Station

  • Bethnal Green Station

  • Bow Road Station

  • Mile End Station

  • Altab Ali Park

  • Victoria Park Crown Gate West

  • Brick Lane Junction of Fashion Street

  • Brick Lane Junction of Old Montague Street

  • Whitechapel High Street Junction of New Road.

How you can get involved

Find it, Fix it Team

The Find it, Fix it service will tackle eyesores across the borough. In rapid response vehicles, the teams identify and fix problems such as littering, graffiti, fly posting, overhanging vegetation and fly tipping. Residents can report problems, including littering, for the Find it, Fix it team via Streetline on 020 7364 5004.

Volunteering and community clear-upslitter picking volunteers

Become a Clean and Green volunteer or get assistance with community clean up projects and local litter picks via the council volunteer coordinator, Sam Dundas-Dunbar. Tel 020 7364 6696, email cgv@towerhamlets.gov.uk or visit the clean and green volunteering page.


There are over 150 managed parks and open spaces in Tower Hamlets. The parks are maintained and cleaned by the newly formed Green Team. Visit the parks pages to find out more about the great parks and open spaces.

Play your part, report it

The council’s customer contact centre is available for you to:

Have we missed you?

Your vital communication with the council allows us to maintain and manage our services and our contractor’s performance effectively.

Step 1

Have you reported the missed service on 020 7364 5004, to our contact centre? Your request will be passed on to the contractor.

Step 2

If your requested service has been missed again, please redial 020 7364 5004 to report again. Your call will be logged with a stage 1 priority.

Step 3

If we still continue to miss your required services, please call again on 020 7364 5004. Your call will be allocated a stage 2 priority. This is the highest service level escalation within our procedures where it will be allocated to the contractor as well as trigger of a back office investigation. The investigation ensures penalties are applied where services have failed.

If you have exhausted the above, you can make a complaint

Grass verges

Grass verges adjacent to roads, other than trunk roads and red routes, are considered public highway and therefore fall under the responsibility of the council and the Highway Authority.

Grass verges on trunk roads and red routes fall under the responsibility of the Greater London Authority and are maintained by Transport for London.

In fulfilling its responsibilities as Highway Authority, the council is required to keep and maintain verges safe and unobstructed. This is particularly important at road junctions where clear visibility for motorists and pedestrians is important.

Litter, abandoned vehicles and fly tipping on road verges generally falls to the council to collect and remove.

Grass cutting

The council cuts grass so that people can use roads and pavements safely. Grass cutting is undertaken for highway safety reasons and to maintain an attractive environment.

What grass won't the council cut?

We do not cut grass that is:

  • privately owned

  • on properties/estates owned by bodies other than the council

  • located on Red Routes and trunk roads (these are the responsibility of Transport for London)

What will the council cut?

We will cut grass on all council-owned land, for example:

  • other highways

  • verges

  • public open space

  • schools

  • parks

  • churchyards maintained as public open spaces

  • memorial gardens

How often do we cut the grass?

The council cuts the grass it owns as often as is necessary. Due to the relatively mild conditions that exist in the inner-city, grass is often cut on amenity areas. 


Keep your scene clean by taking your litter home or using a litter bin. Do not throw rubbish onto pavements, roads or on public open spaces. Be considerate of others.

Littering makes an area look down at heel and can contribute to the fear of crime and the council spends a considerable sum to ensure the borough’s streets are kept clean. Littering is a constant problem we can do without. Litter can be anything from a sweet wrapper or cigarette butt to a bag of rubbish. The size does not matter. Typical littered items are cigarette butts, sweet wrappers, crisp packets, apple cores, drinks cans and plastic bags.

If your street is badly littered you may report it by calling the Customer Contact Centre on 020 7364 5004.

Litter enforcement

An offence is committed if someone throws down, drops or otherwise deposits anything in any place (including over water) that is open to the air and to which the public have access.

The Clean Neighbourhoods and Environment Act 2005 specifically included cigarette butts and chewing gum and their wrappings in the definition of litter.

If you are seen littering in the street you may be issued with a fixed penalty notice (FPN) of £80 by a Street Care officer. The FPN is issued so that you may discharge your liability for prosecution by paying the penalty and knowing you will not receive a criminal record. However, if you do not pay the FPN, the case will go to court.

The maximum fine for littering is £2,500.

Further information

Related services