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Fly-tipping

Here you can find out about fly-tipping, the illegal disposal of waste on land, which is a very serious problem.

We all produce waste as part of our daily lives, whether it is at home or at our work place. Most people get rid of it properly and in a safe way. Some people choose to tip their waste in the countryside or dump it on someone else's land. This is fly-tipping and it is illegal.

For everyone

For landowners

Why it is illegal

Fly-tipped waste can be dangerous and hazardous to the public. Moreso when there are drums of toxic material, asbestos or syringes.

It can also pollute surrounding land and nearby watercourses, damage wildlife and ecosystems.

It is unsightly and costs the council tax payer a large amount of money to remove it.

The law around it

It is a serious criminal offence that carries a fine of £50,000 or up to five years in prison. For more about the law and fly-tipping, visit: Environmental Protection Act 1990: Fly tipping (GOV.UK).

Waste management permits (GOV.UK) and exemptions cover certain sites where waste is deposited or treated. If a site does not have the correct permits or exemptions, it is an offence to deposit waste there.

If a vehicle is used for fly-tipping, the driver and owner can both be prosecuted. Police and courts have the power to seize and dispose of vehicles used to fly-tip.

The law places a duty of care on producers/transporters of waste to make sure waste is disposed of properly. (For more about this, visit: What is the duty of care? (GOV.UK)). Only licensed waste carriers can transport and dispose of waste. It must also be disposed of at a site for which the correct permits are in place.

Report an incident

If someone has a garden that is unsightly, please see: Nuisance gardens.

You can report the incident online:

Report fly-tipping

We need as much information as possible, such as:

  1. The day, date and time and location.
  2. A description of any people involved.
  3. What was fly-tipped and how much.
  4. Details of any vehicle involved including registration number, colour, make and model.
  5. Add photos where you can. (It is easy and will save time and resources as it helps us to allocate to the correct service.)
  6. Remember to zoom in as far as you can. (The exact location on a street will help us identify the fly-tipping right away.)

Important note: If you see someone fly-tipping never approach them as they may become violent. Never touch or sort through the waste as it may contain hazardous materials, broken glass or syringes.

Advice on how to dispose of your waste

Householders

To help reduce fly-tipping, we provide a bulky item collection service.

  • This is to dispose of large items that the refuse collection cannot take.
  • A standard charge applies.

For more details, see: Request a bulky item collection.

Household waste can also be taken to one of our Recycling Centres.

Businesses

Businesses waste is called 'controlled waste' and like all waste it has to be disposed of properly.

For more about this, visit: Dispose of business or commercial waste (GOV.UK).

Landowners

What you are responsible for

It is a landowners duty to make sure land they control is kept clear of litter and refuse. This also includes clearing up after someone illegally tips waste on your land.

It is essential that:

  • You make all reasonable attempts to stop waste from being dumped on your land.
  • The land is kept clean to the required standard and a satisfactory condition.

Let us know about fly-tipping

We want you to report it, please see: Report an incident. We will then start to investigate it.

Please note: You are responsible for clearing your land.

We can provide support as to how you can clear your land. For details of charges or to arrange a collection of waste, please see: Request a bulky item collection.

What we will do

We will investigate the matter with your help.

  • The prevention and detection of fly-tipping is a key priority of our "Vision2024".
  • It is also an issue that matters most to local communities.

If you know anything about who is dumping waste on your land, please contact us.

  • Information you provide will be treated in confidence.
  • We assure you that we will investigate the matter.
  • You will be kept informed.
  • We do make every attempt to pursue a prosecution.

If you do not clear your land

We can take enforcement action against you.

The laws that apply can be found on Legislation.gov.uk:

Important note: If we clear the land, all costs will be recharged to you. This will include both officer and contractor costs.

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