Fly-tipping: Illegal dumping of waste

Let's Scrap Fly Tipping (external link)

Fly-tipping is a crime which ranges from dumping waste in remote areas to leaving bin bags in the street outside the boundary of your premises.  It includes:

  • general household waste
  • large domestic items, for example, fridges and furniture
  • commercial waste, for example, builders rubble and tyres
  • garden refuse
  • litter or waste accumulation
  • earth and soil

Fly-tipping is covered by the Environmental Protection Act 1990 and the Clean Neighbourhoods Act 2005. Prosecution can result in a £400 fixed penalty fine for smaller scale fly-tips, to an unlimited fine and/or six months imprisonment for larger offences.

A person found guilty of fly-tipping is also liable for the costs incurred by the council in investigating and clearing the waste.  Allowing someone to fly-tip on your land, or to use your vehicle to fly-tip could also result in penalties.

All waste should only be deposited at licensed sites. Clamping down on fly-tipping will reduce the cost of services and improve the environment. It is the council's policy to seek to prosecute each offence of fly-tipping reported to us, where evidence can be found.

For more information on the council's fight against Environmental Crime, please see our Environmental Crime Enforcement Policy (PDF)

Have you witnessed fly-tipping?

If you have witnessed somebody fly-tipping, then please report it using our self-service form (external link) online 24 hours a day, or by phoning the council on 01353 665555 during office hours.  Any information you give us will be used and stored in accordance with principles found in the General Data Protection Regulations.  Find out more about reporting a fly-tip

If you have discovered a fly-tip that has been left on a road, please contact the police so that the hazard can be made safe and arrangements for removal can take place. Waste that has been left on a carriageway causing a danger is a separate offence, of causing a danger to road users, under the Road Traffic Act 1988.

Private landowners

Clearing a fly-tip from private land is the responsibility of the landowner.  The site will be investigated and prosecuted at the discretion of the council.  If you are responsible for land, or are a private landowner, you must ensure that your land is as secure as is practically possible.

Waste removal from household property

If you employ a person to remove your waste or a tradesman removes your waste, you must check that the person or company has a waste carriage licence.  A register of waste carriage licence holders can be checked online (external link)

A householder is also responsible for ensuring that any waste taken from their property will be taken to a licensed waste facility.  Failure to do so may result in you being held liable for an offence under the waste duty of care code of practice and receiving a £200 fixed penalty.  For more information, see the Duty of Care Code of Practice (external link)

The council offers a bulky waste collection service, where you can arrange for up to three household items to be taken away for a fee of £28.50.

There are several recycling centres in our area where you can take items for disposal.

Guidance for waste carriers

As a waste carrier, you have the responsibility to complete a waste transfer note for the waste that you handle.  You may be required to produce this documentation to an officer of the local authority and failure to do so within seven days is an offence which can result in a £300 fine.

For more information on registering as a waste carrier and licence renewal visit Environment Waste Management website (external link)

Business waste

Waste produced as a result of business activity is classed as controlled waste - businesses are therefore legally responsible for making sure that it is disposed of correctly.  If you dispose of your own waste, you must be registered as a waste carrier with the Environment Agency and complete transfer notes for the waste that you dispose of.  For more information on business and commercial waste visit Managing Your Waste An Overview website (external link). Businesses have a duty of care to ensure that waste is disposed of correctly and to provide a valid waste transfer note when required.  Failure to do so could result in a fixed penalty fine of £300 or prosecution.

Landlords - business waste

Rental properties are classed as businesses, and, as such, landlords should be aware of their responsibilities in terms of waste disposal and their duty of care.

Waste created as part of building improvements, repairs or alterations to rental properties fall under the responsibility of the landlord/letting agent.  This includes any fixtures and fittings that are supplied under the terms of the lease which later become waste, for example faulty white goods, damaged carpets, etc. 

When a tenant vacates a property and leaves waste, this waste also becomes the responsibility of the landlord. If you dispose of the waste yourself, you will need to register as a waste carrier and obtain a licence to do so.

Waste created by the tenant during their tenancy, for example general waste or recycling and garden waste, are the responsibility of the tenant to dispose of via the council's domestic waste collection service.

Reported abandoned shopping trolleys

Shopping trolleys are found abandoned from time to time in the district - they are expensive items and the stores that own them will want them back. If you find a shopping trolley in the district, contact the store that it has come from (usually identifiable by the store name on the trolley handle) who will come and collect. Where a trolley has been abandoned and is in working order, it will not be a waste item and therefore not illegally deposited waste. Taking a shopping trolley and damaging it beyond use is more appropriately theft.