Fly-tipping is the illegal deposit of waste on land not permitted to receive it. Fly-tipping can be liquid or solid in nature. Fly-tipping differs from littering in that it invariably involves the removal of waste from premises where it was produced with the deliberate aim of disposing of it unlawfully, or as a result of legitimate outlets not being available.
- How to report fly-tipping (GOV.UK)
Fly-tipping causes problems because:
- it can pose a threat to the environment and human health
- it is unsightly and can affect the way a locality is perceived by residents and visitors
- illegal operators undermine legitimate waste businesses by undercutting their prices
- it costs the public sector over £40 million a year and private landowners estimate it costs them £50-100 million (Estimates from landowner groups) or more a year in clean up and disposal cost
If you have waste to dispose of, please act responsibly and take it to a local authority waste or recycling centre. Dumping items like furniture and fridges on your own patch or elsewhere is not only unsightly for your neighbours, it could be dangerous for local children. In addition, once an area gets a reputation for being a dumping site, it often encourages others to add to the pile.
If you witness any fly tipping activity in your area please report it to the relevant authorities – such as the Police, Unit or Local Authority (for nearby public areas). It will help if you make a note of the vehicle type, registration number or any other relevant information. However be careful; don’t challenge the fly tippers and don’t place yourself in harms way to gather evidence – the people and substances could be dangerous.
Get it removed
If the waste has been dumped in an SFA area, please report it to your relevant maintenance help desk who will remove it at MOD expense. If the waste has been dumped on nearby public land please report it to your Local Authority as per the link above.
Fly-tipping and the law
The offence of fly-tipping and the additional offences of ‘knowingly causing’ or ‘knowingly permitting’ fly-tipping are set out in s.33(1)(a) of the Environmental Protection Act 1990.
There is an associated offence relating to the unlawful deposit of waste from a motor vehicle, whereby the person who controls or is in a position to control the vehicle shall be treated as knowingly causing the waste to be deposited whether or not he gave any instructions for this to be done.
The maximum penalties for fly-tipping on summary conviction are a £50,000 fine and/or twelve months’ imprisonment. On conviction in a Crown Court the maximum penalties are an unlimited fine and/or five years imprisonment.
Both the Environment Agency and local authorities have powers to tackle fly-tipping. Local authorities are responsible for clearing up most fly-tipping on public land while the Environment Agency investigates larger-scale incidents, those involving hazardous waste or organised crime. On private land the responsibility for clearance of fly-tipped waste rests with the landowner. Local authorities may serve notice under s59 of the Environmental Protection Act 1990 requiring occupiers or landowners to remove fly-tipped waste. However, depending on the circumstances, local authorities will often provide landowners with advice and guidance on measures which can be taken to prevent further unauthorised waste deposits.