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North Hertfordshire District Council treats fly-tipping very seriously and will prosecute anyone caught fly-tipping waste. Fly tipping is irresponsible, dangerous and expensive to clear up.

Report fly-tipping

To report fly-tipping, please use our online form:

Report fly-tipping form

What is fly-tipping?

Fly-tipping is the common term used to describe waste illegally deposited on land (Section 33 of the Environment Protection Act 1990). This includes items ranging from a single black rubbish bag to multiple loads of construction waste.

The fly-tipping of controlled waste is a serious criminal offence which carries a fine of up to £50,000 and/or 1 year imprisonment. If the case is very serious and goes to Crown Court an unlimited fine may be imposed and the prison term goes up to 5 years. It is important to realise that there can be offences committed by others before the fly-tip, such as permitting the fly-tip or causing the fly-tip and the sanctions are the same as actually doing the fly-tipping, or, if there is vehicle involved, there are offences relating to the controller of the vehicle.

  • Anyone giving permission for fly-tipping to occur on land they control will be open to investigation and prosecution.
  • Anyone giving waste to a another person for disposal without checking a) whether that person is authorised to carry waste b) where the waste is going, and the waste is subsequently fly-tipped will be open to investigation and prosecution for causing the fly-tipping.
  • Fly-tipping is often associated with dumping waste from vehicles. In this case the person controlling the use of the vehicle, normally the registered keeper, can also be prosecuted. This means that it is possible for a prosecution to occur when only the vehicle, not the driver, is identifiable.

Preventing fly-tipping (Duty of Care)

Simple steps can prevent fly-tipping.

If you give waste to anyone else ensure they are authorised to carry it. Ask for their carriers authorisation. You can check online at GOV.UK or by telephone 03708 506506.

Ask where the waste is going and get a receipt. It is also advisable to make a note of the vehicle details and carriers authorisation number. Further information is available on the GOV.UK website.

Can the waste be taken by the Council special refuse collection for large items? Further details are provided on the bulky waste collection service webpage.

Witnessing fly-tipping

If you witness fly-tipping or fly-tipped rubbish; any information that you can provide will greatly assist us in our fight against this illegal activity.

To assist investigations it would be helpful if you could record as much detail as possible and report immediately. All information is valuable to us and will be treated confidentially.

Please record all details immediately and keep safe*

You can take photos (e.g. camera phones) please do so However DO NOT touch the waste, disturb the evidence or remove any evidence from site.

Remember: do not approach any individuals and do not put yourself in danger.

Take note of:

  • Date and time that you saw the fly-tippers in action or discovered the rubbish*.
  • Location of the incident - address or local landmarks*.
  • A description of the rubbish e.g. builders rubble*.
  • How many people did you see*?
  • Did you recognise any of them*?
  • Can you describe them? (e.g. sex, hair colour, height, distinguishing features*)
  • What did you actually see these people do*?
  • Was there a vehicle involved - make / model / colour / registration number*?
  • Were there any distinguishing features or signs on the vehicle*?
  • Where were you when you saw the fly-tipping: what kind of view did you have? how far away were you? weather and light conditions*.

The Environment Agency has a statutory responsibility to investigate the larger scale fly-tipping incidences where the waste may pose a serious risk to the environment and where the activity is linked to organised crime.