Your waste or sewage site can attract insects, scavenging birds, vermin and other pests that are hazardous to human health.

For information about pathogens, see our pathogens guidance.

What you must do

Comply with your permit, licence or registered exemption

If your business has a permit, licence or registered exemption you must comply with its conditions, including any conditions about pests. If you do not comply with conditions you can be fined or sent to prison.

Does your waste or sewage business need a PPC permit?

Waste exemptions for waste or sewage businesses

Prevent nuisance

If your business is affected by large numbers of insects that cause or are likely to cause a nuisance or harm the health of your neighbours, your local council can issue you with anabatement notice that:

  • requires you to reduce or stop the nuisance
  • stops or places restrictions on your operations
  • requires you to carry out work to stop the nuisance from reoccurring.

Anyone affected by the nuisance, such as your neighbours, can apply to the court in Northern Ireland or the sheriff in Scotland to issue you with an abatement notice.

You can be fined if you do not comply with an abatement notice, and your local authority can take steps to abate the nuisance itself and charge you for its costs.

For further information, see our guidance on noise, odour and other nuisances.

Good practice

Control pests at your site

  • Minimise odours that could attract insects, scavenging birds, vermin and other pests to your facility.
  • If possible, keep waste or sewage at your site under cover. Check walls, doors and ceilings for gaps or holes where pests could get in.
  • Install anti-insect units such as electronic fly killers, glue boards and light attractants in your buildings.
  • Install traps for mice and other rodents.
  • Consider the impact of pests from your site on the surrounding environment as part of your routine site inspections.
  • If your site is located near an airport or under a flight path, large groups of birds can be a hazard for aircraft. Deter birds with predatory birds or use audio or mechanical devices.
  • You may use pesticides or chemicals to control rodents or other pests at your site. Make sure that you do not cause land or water pollution.

If you require assistance with pest control, contact the environmental health department of your local council.

Directgov: Find out about pest control

Contact your local council

Be a good operator

  • Write and implement a pest management plan to control any pests affecting your site.
  • Keep records of how you have managed pests at your site including details of any complaints.
  • Regularly monitor pests at your site.
  • Keep your operations under control so that they do not attract pests.

Be a good neighbour

  • Position waste skips and container bays as far away from your neighbours and away from any areas of your site open to the public.
  • You can avoid many complaints by communicating effectively with your neighbours. Set up regular consultation days when you invite neighbours to your site to learn more about your activities, and share views or concerns.
  • If you receive any complaints about pests deal with them quickly.
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