Keeping Britain Tidy: Fly-Tipping and the Law

Fly-tipping is explained as illegally depositing any type of waste on land which doesn’t have the licenses in order to “accept it.”

For example, tipping electrical items, a mattress, or bin bags that are filled with rubbish on a street corner, cause local nuisances, which can make an area appear run down or look unsightly. On the larger side of a scale, fly-tipping might involve truckloads of demolition and construction waste that is tipped onto various land types.

Illegal, uncontrolled waste disposal can pose a hazard to the “public”, particularly when it contains asbestos or toxic materials. There is also the risk of damages to the soil quality and watercourses from this dumped waste.

Over the year 2016 and 2017, over 1 million incidences involving fly-tipping have been handled by councils throughout England. Estimated costs to clear up the waste was more than £58 million.

Fly-tipping is considered as a criminal offence that is serious that is accompanied by a prosecution. Courts have several powers that they use in order to deal with fly-tipping which is inclusive of imprisonment or substantial fines which can reach up to £50,000 in order to pay the costs as well as to deprive the rights to the vehicle that was utilized in order to commit these offences.

What to Do When Someone Has Fly-tipped on Your Land?

When you have experienced fly-tipping on your privately owned land, it becomes your responsibility to dispose the waste safely and to fork out the costs involved in doing so.

You need to report this incidence to either the local Environment Agency or authority. Even though they are not obligated to remove your waste, they might be able to offer advice on the most cost-effective and safest way to remove this waste.

You will be forced to make a decision on how to handle the dumped waste and to ensure that the waste cannot escape or be touched or interfered with.

If you employ a contractor to remove this waste, make sure they are registered waste carriers like Roupcycle. You can find out by making a call to the Environmental Agency on 08708 506506.

You need to consider why your property or land was targeted. Is this area very easy-to-access? Is the area a place where people can easily fly-tip without been seen? As soon as you have established the reasons why your land was targeted, it is advisable to take the necessary steps to ensure the land is less vulnerable.

How To Stop Your Waste From Being Fly-Tipped?

The bulk waste which includes sofas, fridges, washing machines etc, is not the responsibility of your council to remove. However, most of the local authorities often provide collection services for bulky waste. You should make contact with your closest council to find out more.

Garden Waste

The majority of councils run garden-waste collection services, which are in most cases in separated bins. The alternative is to take your garden-waste to your closest tip or you can use this waste to create your own compost from home.

Commercial Waste

When running a commercial business, you are required to have the right contract in place with a waste carrier that is registered to make sure the waste is always disposed and taken away in the correct manner. When disposing your waste from your business by yourself at a landfill or tip, then sites you use has to be licensed in order to receive commercial waste. Keep in mind that you will need to pay a landfill tax and gate fee.

When you are using a 3rd-party such as a builder to remove the waste on a temporary basis, make sure they are waste carriers that are registered. Ask them to produce a certificate or ask the Environment Agency for confirmation.

Report Illegal Dumping

When you report illegal dumping of rubbish, the necessary authorities can remove the waste and this crime can then be investigated. If you happen to notice someone fly-tipping, or if you would like to report an incidence of fly-tipping that has occurred, keep the following in mind:

  • Place, time and date of this incidence
  • What type of waste it is and the amount
  • The description of vehicles or people involved along with a registration number if possible

Both the Environmental Agency and local authority have the powers to deal with fly-tipping along with fly-tipping agreed protocols to deal with essential problems linked with the issue. Protocols that have been set out will involve who is going to deal with various incident types.

The local authorities are equipped with dealing with the smaller scale and more frequent of the incidents, while the Environmental Agency will handle larger scale and the more serious of the incidents in association to illegal waste disposals, that includes tipping any hazardous waste that has been carried out by the organised criminals.