Introduction The principal Act is the Public Health Act 1936. There is no legal defi nition of refuse but the Oxford dictionary states-‘that which is cast aside as worthless; rubbish or worthless matter of any kind; the rubbishy part of anything.’ A dustbin is legally defi ned (S.343) ‘…a movable receptacle for the deposit of ashes or refuse.’ Paper sacks with their holders appear to be within this defi nition, so they are governed by the legal provisions applying to dustbins. The Act distinguishes between (a) house refuse, (b) trade refuse and (c) refuse which the Local Authority ‘are under no obligation to remove’ but gives no defi nitions. There seems to be general agreement that the most important consideration is the character of the refuse and that house refuse is the sort of refuse which arises from the ordinary domestic occupation of a house. Hotels, for example, can also produce ‘house refuse’.