Thousands of people are contributing to the fly-tipping problem in England, and have no idea they are doing anything wrong. 47% of people don’t know that they’re responsible in law if their waste is fly-tipped by a third party and 36% of people think it is acceptable to get rid of an unwanted sofa or mattress in a way that is, legally, classed as fly-tipping.

Keep Britain Tidy want to help you!

We understand it can be confusing, but it really is very simple to do the right thing. Remember if it’s your waste it’s your responsibility. If your waste is found dumped, even if someone else has done it, you could be held responsible for the crime.

So what could you be doing wrong?

Unwittingly using a rogue trader to remove your waste – whether you find someone through social media, an advert, or even someone approaching you directly – you need to check they are a registered waste carrier and they have a waste carrier permit. It is illegal for them to take your waste if they are not and they could be a rogue trader. You can check if they are a registered waste carrier online or by calling 03708 506 506.

Putting that extra bin bag next to your bin – there may be times you have an extra bag of rubbish that does not fit in your bin. If this is the case you should not leave it outside your property, whether that’s in the alleyway or next to your bin on collection day, if you do you could face a fine.

Putting your old washing machine or scrap metal out
– traditionally many people used to leave scrap metal, such as washing machines, old BBQs and old bikes out for the ‘scrap man’. You should never leave any waste like this either on your drive, or in the street for someone to remove. They may not be a registered waste carrier, and could take the bits they need and dump the rest.

Leaving your unwanted items out so others can use them – sometimes the things we no longer need are in good condition, or could be restored by someone else, and it seems a shame to dispose of them. It is great if you can donate these items to your local charity shop or give them to someone who could make use of it – but you shouldn’t leave out for others to take.

Not checking where your waste is going
– being a registered waste carrier means the person can legally remove your rubbish, but you still need to check that you know what is going to happen to your rubbish. Don’t be afraid to ask questions and ask for paperwork that shows where your waste is going. A legitimate waste carrier would not object to this questioning.

So remember if you do use someone other than the council to remove your waste follow these simple steps:
1. Ask to see their waste carrier permit - this is issued by the Environment Agency
2. Ask for their waste carrier number and contact the Environment Agency directly on 03708 506 506 for a free instant waste carrier check
3. If it’s easier check on-line
4. Ensure that you receive a transfer notice or receipt before your waste is taken away
5. Make a note of their vehicle registration and vehicle details if you can

And if you spot fly-tipping you can report it via your local council.