Fly-tipping in the UK

Fly-tipping in the UK

Fly-tipping is defined as the ‘illegal deposit of any waste onto land that does not have a license to accept it.’ This can range from something as small as a bin bag full of rubbish dumped on the pavement to several truckloads of construction and demolition waste being tipped on common land, recreational areas, parks etc.

Dumping waste causes a local nuisance and can make areas look ugly and run-down. More importantly than how an area looks, illegal waste disposal can be hazardous to the public and environment especially if it contains toxic material or asbestos as it can pollute watercourses and effect soil quality.

The total amount of reported incidents of fly-tipping in the UK was 997,553 in 2017/18. This was the first drop in incidents seen since 2012/13.

A quarter of the total occurrences in the UK were in London at 28,4250 in 2017/18. In the South and South East of England there was a total of 79,307 reported incidents with Southampton having the most recorded incidents at 11,107.

Figures from DEFRA

Fly-tipping is a serious criminal offence and the government is trying to crack down on fly-tippers by introducing harsher penalties. Local councils can issue on-the-spot fines if caught or you could even be prosecuted facing imprisonment and substantial fines of up to £50,000.

The government is also planning to extend fines to households who use contractors to take away their rubbish and waste as if it is fly-tipped they are still responsible, these rules will be coming into force at some point this year. (DEFRA Media, 2018)

What Happens If Someone Fly-Tips on Private Land?

Unfortunately councils do not have the power to remove fly-tipped waste from private land and it is the land owners responsibility to remove and safely dispose of the waste – even if costs are incurred.

If anyone is employed to come and collect the waste then it must be ensured that they are a registered waste carrier. Finally, try and establish the reason why the private land was fly-tipped on e.g is it easily accessible or an area where people cannot be seen. Preventative steps should then be taken to make it less vulnerable.

Being a registered waste carrier ourselves, we are able to offer waste collection services for domestic and commercial clearances with our Hazardous and Drum waste collection services as well as our Grab Lorry Hire service. Our 8-wheel grab lorry is able to remove large volumes of waste and material quickly including; topsoil, hardcore, green waste and fly-tipping waste.

Our grab lorry is able to carry up to 16 tonnes of waste and the bucket can lift up to 1.5 tonnes. With the 8 metre Palfinger crane arm, our trained and experienced operators will make light work of removing and disposing of waste at a licensed facility.

We operate across London and the South of England, call free on 0800 171 2204 or 01323 741818 to talk to one of our experienced team members who will provide support and further information about our grab lorry services. Alternatively, you can leave details on our contact form.

How Can Fly-Tipping Be Prevented?

It should always be checked that third party waste collectors are approved waste carriers before allowing them to take your items, this can be done through the Environment Agency here or ask to see their certificate.

Some councils offer a bulk waste disposal service for free or a small fee for residents in efforts to reduce fly-tipping however they are not obliged to remove this type of waste. Check with your local councils to see if they offer any collection services.

Garden waste and most household waste can be safely disposed of at local tip sites which are very easy to use (again, check local tip sites for a list of the waste streams they can take.

Fly-tipping in the UK

Reporting Fly-Tippers

If fly-tippers are reported, the rubbish can be removed and the crime can be investigated. It is important to take note of the following information to help the local authorities and the Environment Agency catch fly-tippers;

  • The date and time of the incident
  • What the waste looks like and how much there is
  • Descriptions of any person and/or vehicles involved along with the registration number

Reports to the Environment Agency can be made using their national hotline number 0800 807 060

If you have any questions or queries regarding this article or have experienced fly-tipped waste being dumped on your private land then do not hesitate to contact us on 01323 741818 or 0800 171 2204 for help and advice.

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