Street cleaning

Report spillages on roads

To report spillages on a road phone 01782 237061.
Spillages come in many forms, for example they can be as a result a road traffic collisions.  We clean the city's roads to make sure they are kept clear and free for traffic to pass along safely. The only exceptions are the A50 and A500 roads. These are the responsibility of the Highways Agency, based at: St. Christopher House, Southwark Street, London, SE1 0TE.


Street cleaning is one of the most important public services a local authority provides. It affects everybody that lives, works or visits the city every day of the year. Keeping a clean image also helps us attract investors and visitors to the city. We have policies and procedures in place, all designed to ensure that our services are delivered in a reasonable, professional and fair way.

Each year we spend around £2million on cleaning the city’s roads, pavements and public open spaces. We aim to ensure that our service is efficient and effective with good quality results. By disposing of litter properly, everyone in the city can help us keep it a clean and attractive place to be. 

We use manual and mechanical methods of cleaning the city:

  • 1026 miles of pavements are mechanically swept;
  • 1105 miles of road gutters are mechanically swept;
  • 40 miles of back street and alleyways are swept;  
  • 40,000 gullies are serviced each year.

How we keep the city clean

We are always striving to improve our services, so in May 2006 we introduced a 'One Pass'  cleansing and grass cutting operation.  During the summer months when the grass is growing, we cut the grass, sweep up grass cuttings from the pavements and clean up any litter from the street. The 'One Pass' operation aims to leave every street and grassed area at a very high standard.  This operation is carried out on a 10 to12 working day cycle.

During the winter months when the grass stops growing, we revert to our Planned Cleansing  Service 

Our main planned cleaning services are;

  • sweeping the gutters between the pavement and road;
  • sweeping the pavements; and
  • picking up litter.

In addition to this pre-planned work, litter wardens patrol hotspots to make sure rubbish is kept off the roads. We also provide other services for removing fly posting, graffiti, fly-tipping and cleaning town and city centres.

The six town centre areas of Longton, Fenton, Tunstall, Meir, Burslem and Stoke have a dedicated person to keep them clean throughout the whole week. Hanley, as the city centre of Stoke-on-Trent, has different cleaning arrangements. As well as being a busy commercial and shopping area, there is significant evening and night-time activity in the city centre’s pubs, clubs, restaurants and theatres. Cleaning is carried out during the day and night to make sure the city centre is clean at whatever time shoppers, workers and other visitors arrive.

How often we clean areas of the city

Busier streets with more houses, such as a row of terraces, are cleaned even more than other stretches. We comply with the Environmental Protection Act which makes the following basic distinctions between different areas within the city;

  • Shopping centres and district centres Zone 1
  • High density residential areas, such as terraces Zone 2
  • Low density residential areas, such as newer estates Zone 3

How often we clean each zone is shown here;

Summer Frequencies

We carry out a 'One Pass' Street cleansing and Grounds maintenance service, which means grass is cut, litter is removed and the streets are swept all in one operation.  This is done on a 10 to 12 day cycle.

Winter Frequencies

  • Zone 1 - We sweep gutters every four weeks, sweep pavements every two weeks and pick up litter every day.
  • Zone 2 - We sweep gutters every eight weeks, sweep pavements every six weeks and pick up litter every two weeks.
  • Zone 3 - We sweep gutters every eight weeks, sweep pavements every six weeks and pick up litter every two weeks.

On-going developments

We look at ways in which we can use new technology to improve our services to you and to make the job easier for those involved. We are investigating electronic communications systems to reduce paperwork. We are also looking at the use of satellite technology to improve our response to enquiries and to support the health and safety of our employees.

Our responsibilities

We have a duty under part four of the Environmental Protection Act 1990 to keep areas of land in our control free of litter and refuse. Others with responsibility for keeping the areas they control free of litter and refuse include; schools and colleges, universities, hospitals and rail authorities. We comply with the cleanliness standards contained in the 'Code of Practice on Litter and Refuse'.

Local authorities have been given powers to help them deal with littering problems. Our Environmental Enforcement Officers tackle these problems on a regular basis.