Fly-tipping is the term used to describe waste illegally dumped on land. This can range from a single black rubbish bag to multiple loads of construction waste.
We treat fly tipping very seriously and will prosecute anyone caught. You can report fly-tipping to us online:
Fly-tipping and the law
The fly-tipping of controlled waste is a serious criminal offence (Section 33 of the Environment Protection Act 1990) 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 five years.
It is important to realise that offences can be committed by others before the fly-tip, such as permitting or causing the fly-tip, and the sanctions are the same as doing the fly-tipping:
- 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)
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 in the Duty of Care leaflet below.
Can the waste be taken by the Council special refuse collection for large items? Further details are provided on the bulky waste collection 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 it immediately. All information is valuable to us and will be treated confidentially.
You can take photos (e.g. on a smartphone) however please DO NOT touch the waste, disturb the evidence or remove any evidence from site.
Remember: stay safe, 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, can you describe them?
- Was there a vehicle involved - make / model / colour / registration number?
- 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. Contact the Environment Agency incident hotline on tel: 0800 80 70 60