Fly Tipping

What is Fly Tipping?

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Fly tipping is damaging to the environment and costly for councils to deal with

“With Tips and Waste Management Sites remaining having been closed during lockdown, instances of fly tipping have seen a 300% increase.”

Report Fly Tipping

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The Do’s and Don’ts of waste disposal


  • Take your waste to a council run recycling centre.  This will enable materials such as glass, cardboard and plastic to be recycled appropriately.
  • If you are paying someone to dispose of your waste; ensure that you check their waste carrier registration number and don’t be afraid to ask where they will be disposing of it.
  • Speak to your local council if you find that you have more waste than you can dispose of, they may be able to provide you with an additional bin or assist in the disposal of larger items.
  • Reuse items where possible or upcycle old furniture, this not only reduces the amount of waste in landfills, but also encourages creativity and innovation.If you have no other option, keep larger items at home until recycling centres reopen and the waste can be disposed of safely.Join a local litter picking group, working together as a team will create a bigger impact for your community.Hire a skip.  These range in size and price and there will be an option for many budgets and items. These companies will dispose of waste in a safe and legal way.


  • Dispose of hazardous waste without advice from a specialist waste management business, this includes items such as asbestos and chemicals which could harm humans, animals or the environment.
  • Be tempted to dispose of your waste in the community, this could incur a fine or a prison sentence and can be harmful to humans, wildlife and the environment.

Fly tipping is the illegal disposal of waste, as opposed to using an alternative option such as kerbside collection

or using of an authorised rubbish recycling centre. Waste can include liquid or solids on either land or in water. This differs from littering which is the incorrect disposal of one-off items such as a plastic bottle or a crisp packet. 

Fly tipping can include the disposal of large household items or bags of waste, which is generally deposited on public land or road sides. Common items include mattresses, white goods, furniture, tyres or black bin bags containing mixed household waste.  It can also be larger quantities of waste generated through trade, including hazardous waste such as oil or asbestos.

Fly tipping most commonly occurs on areas such as country roads, private land, derelict land and on the outskirts of urban areas. This is a criminal activity that is not only unsightly but also harmful to the environment and wildlife.

Local Authorities are responsible for investigation, clearing and taking appropriate action in regards to small scale fly tipping on public land.  The Environmental Agency is responsible for dealing with incidences in which there is more than a lorry load of waste, if the waste is hazardous, or if the incidence is linked to organised gangs.Fly Tipping

An example of fly-tipping in a waterway

“In 2018/19, local authorities in England dealt with over 1 million fly-tipping incidents”

Fly Tipping Statistics

According to GOV.UK

  •  For the 2018/19 year, local authorities in England dealt with over 1 million (1,072,000) fly-tipping incidents
  • Fly tipping is a criminal offence, it is punishable of a fine up to £50,000 or 12 months imprisonment if convicted in a Magistrates’ Court.  If convicted in a Crown Court the offence can attract an unlimited fine and up to 5 years in prison.
  • The most common size category for fly-tipping incidents is equivalent to a ‘small van load’ (33% of total incidents), followed by the equivalent of a ‘car boot or less’ (30%).
  • In 2018/19, 36,000  incidents were of ‘tipper lorry load’ size or larger, For these large fly-tipping incidents, the cost of clearance to local authorities was £12.9
  • For 2018/19, 12,000  notices were issued specifically for small scale fly-tipping
  • Local authorities carried out 499,000 enforcement actions in 2018/19
  • The number of fixed penalty notices issued Was76,000 in 2018/19. 
  • The most common place for fly-tipping to occur was on highways (pavements and roads)

Report Fly Tipping

Fighting Fly Tipping

There are many ways in which you can support your community to reduce the incidences of fly tipping. 

  • If you are paying someone to collect and dispose of your waste, ensure that you request their waste carrier registration.  This will prevent individuals from collecting your waste and disposing of it unsafely. Do not be afraid to ask where your waste will be disposed of and request a proper invoice and receipt.
  • If you find that you are creating more waste you may need to approach your local council and request an additional bin to ensure that your waste is disposed of safely.
  • If you have large items of waste, speak to your local council about whether they can collect and dispose of your item.
  • Skip hire is another option. This is an economic, safe and legal way in which to dispose of larger or bulkier items and more significant quantities of waste. Skips range in sizes from mini skips to large skips and therefore there is an option for a range of budgets and needs.  Skip hire companies will have a license to collect and dispose of waste legally and safely. Skips can be used for any household or construction waste, as long as it is not hazardous.
  • Most importantly, if you witness some one fly tipping or come across an incident in your community, you must report it to your local council.

Report Fly Tipping

  • If you witness a fly tipping incident, try to take down as much information as possible.  For example, the colour and make of the vehicle and the registration number where possible. Take a note of the time and date, as well as the location of where you have witnessed the incident.  When reporting waste, it is important to try to give as much detail as possible.
  • Fly tipping should be reported directly to Local authorities, Local authorities are responsible for investigating incidences on ‘relevant’ land (land under their control and is publicly accessible).  The must assess whether the incident will cause harm to people, animals or the environment.
  • If you are a private land owner, you are responsible for clearing the rubbish.  However, you may be able to reclaim the money at a later date. It is important not to touch the waste as it may be hazardous.  You will be able to get advice through your local authority or the Environmental Agency. Alternatively, you can contact Crimestoppers or the police.

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