Fly-tipping and illegal waste disposal

Report fly-tipping, disposing of waste legally.

What is fly-tipping?

Fly-tipping is the illegal dumping of household or commercial waste on land which has no licence to accept waste, such as on a roadside or in a field. It currently costs the council around £350,000 to clear up fly-tipped waste from the roadside each year.

Is fly-tipping illegal?

Yes. Fly-tipping is a criminal offence and you can be fined or prosecuted.

Prosecutions are brought under Section 33 and Section 34 of the Environmental Protection Act 1990, with unlimited fines and/or imprisonment for those convicted of the offence.

Fixed Penalty Notices correct as of 1 April 2024.

We also issue Fixed Penalty Notices ranging from £200 up to £1000 depending on the amount of waste for smaller fly-tipping offences under the 'Unauthorised Deposit of Waste (Fixed Penalties) Regulations 2016'.

Read more about Fixed Penalty Notices and how to pay them.

How can I report fly-tipping?

If you wish to remain anonymous, make sure you are not logged into your account.

Report fly-tipping

Will the council investigate fly-tipping on private land?

It’s usually the landowner’s responsibility to remove the waste, although if there is evidence of where the waste has come from we will investigate and, if possible, take enforcement action against those responsible for dumping it. If successful, the landowner may be able to recover the cost of removing the waste through the courts.

Please note: we will not usually investigate reports of fly-tipping on private land if there is unlikely to be evidence of where it came from, such as rubble, garden waste, tyres, kitchen appliances, or items of furniture, or if nobody witnessed it being dumped.

How can I dispose of my waste legally?

Business waste

Read about how you can get your business waste collected.

Household waste

If you’re unable to dispose of your household waste by using the council’s bin collections, recycling sites or bulky collections, you can ask a dedicated waste contractor, such as a registered waste carrier or a skip hire company, to take your waste away.

You will be able to find a waste contractor by searching the internet, but please ensure you read the guidance below before contacting them.

Ensure your waste contractor is operating legally

You must always check that your contractor is a licensed waste carrier on the Environment Agency website.

You should always ask to see the original copy of their waste carrier’s licence. By law, registered waste carriers are required to provide you with a waste transfer note; official paperwork that confirms receipt of your waste and where it is being taken to. The waste carrier can be fined up to £5,000 plus costs for failing to produce either when requested by the council.

Do not use a contractor that won’t show you a waste carrier’s licence or who won’t provide you with a waste transfer note.

Please note: you can be prosecuted and fined if someone else illegally disposes of your waste on your behalf. This can include a company that provides you with a skip to take waste away, or even a joiner or a builder doing work at your property.

Tips for using a waste carrier to dispose of your waste:

Tips for using a waste carrier to dispose of your waste:

Use the S.C.R.A.P code when arranging for someone to collect waste from your home:

Suspect – beware of rogue waste carriers. Reputable companies do not usually make direct approaches. If in any doubt, do not allow them to take your waste.

Check – ask for their waste carrier registration details, and verify them either by checking the online register or by calling (03708) 506 506. Note down the registration number of the vehicle used to take your waste away, just in case.

Refuse – refuse unsolicited offers to have any rubbish taken away. Always carry out your own research and choose who you wish to approach.

Ask – always ask what exactly is going to happen to your rubbish and seek evidence that it is going to be disposed of appropriately. A legitimate, professional waste carrier who wants your business should not object to being asked reasonable questions.

Paperwork – make sure you get a proper receipt containing the written information for your waste. This should include what has been removed and where it will be going. Make sure the company or tradesperson’s details are included.

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