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Fly-tipping is defined as the ‘illegal deposit of any waste onto land that does not have a licence to accept it’. Tipping a mattress, electrical items or a bin bag full of rubbish in the street causes a local nuisance and makes an area look ugly and run down.
At the larger end of the scale fly-tipping can involve several truckloads of construction and demolition waste being tipped on different types of land.
Uncontrolled illegal waste disposal can be hazardous to the public, especially if it contains toxic material or asbestos. There could be a risk of damage to watercourses and soil quality from the dumped waste.
In 2008/2009 more than one million incidences of fly-tipping were dealt with by councils in England. The estimated cost of clearing up this waste was £54.9 million and a further £18.2 million was spent on enforcement action.
Fly-tipping is a serious criminal offence for which you can be prosecuted. The courts have various powers available to them to tackle fly-tipping, including imprisonment, substantial fines of up to £50,000, orders to pay costs and an order to deprive rights to a vehicle used to commit the offence.
Someone has fly-tipped on my land what do I do?
If you are a private landowner and become a victim of fly-tipping then it is your responsibility to safely dispose of the waste and pay any costs for doing so.
Report the incident to your local authority or the Environment Agency. Although they have no obligation to remove the waste, they may be able to provide guidance on the best way to deal with the removal of the waste.
You will need to decide how to deal with the waste that has been dumped on your land. Make sure that the waste cannot be interfered with or escape.
Check that any contractor employed to remove the waste is a registered waste carrier. You can do this by calling the general enquires Environment Agency number on 08708 506506.
Think about why your land has been targeted. Is the area easy to access? Is it an area where people cannot be seen fly-tipping? Once you have established the reason why your land has been targeted, you may want to take steps to make your land less vulnerable.
How can I stop my waste from being fly-tipped?
Bulky Waste (e.g. fridges, sofas etc.) – your council is not obliged to remove this. However, many local authorities do provide a bulky waste collection service. Please contact your local council for details.
Garden Waste – most councils operate a garden waste collection, often in separate bins. Otherwise take garden waste to your local tip for composting or compost at home.
Commercial Waste – if you run a business, you must have a contract with a registered waste carrier to ensure that your waste is being taken away and disposed of correctly. If you are disposing of business waste yourself at a tip or a landfill, then the site must be licensed to take commercial waste. You will have to pay a gate fee and landfill tax.
If you are asking a third party (e.g. builder) to remove your waste as part of a job, you should ensure that they are a registered waste carrier. Ask to see their certificate, or alternatively check with the Environment Agency.
Report it. Dumping Rubbish is illegal.
If you report it, the rubbish can be removed and with your help the crime can be investigated. If you see someone fly-tipping, or you want to report an area where fly-tipping has taken place, take note of the following:
Date, time and place of the incident
What the waste looks like and how much there is
Descriptions of any person and/or vehicles involved along with the registration number
AS FLY-TIPPERS ARE DOING SOMETHING ILLEGAL, THEY DO NOT WANT TO BE CAUGHT. DO NOT APPROACH THEM OR PUT YOUR OWN SAFETY AT RISK.
Both the local authority and the Environment Agency have powers to tackle fly-tipping and they have agreed a fly-tipping protocol to address the important issues associated with the problem. The protocol sets out who will deal with different types of incidents.Local Authorities will deal will smaller scale, more frequent incidents and the Environment Agency will deal with larger scale, more serious incidents of illegal waste disposal, or fly-tipping including hazardous wastes and tipping carried out by organised criminals.
Reports to the Environment Agency can be made using their national hotline number 0800 807060
You can also use our smartphone app to report fly-tipping.
This information is available in a DL size leaflet which is available to purchase from our online shop.
Keep Britain Tidy is a registered Charity No. 1071737. Registered as a Company limited by guarantee in England & Wales No. 3496361. Registered office at Elizabeth House, The Pier, Wigan, WN3 4EX.
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