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Fly tipping is a universally detested activity that poses severe threats to the environment, wildlife, and the aesthetics of our surroundings. Despite these concerns, fly tipping incidents have been on the rise, with a 2% increase reported between 2018 and 2020. During lockdowns, some areas experienced a staggering 300% surge in fly tipping cases.

These illegal activities not only harm the environment but also result in the wastage of millions of taxpayer pounds spent on cleanup efforts. To address this issue, it’s crucial to understand what constitutes fly tipping and how to combat it.

This guide, brought to you by WasteSURE, aims to clarify the concept of fly tipping, differentiate it from littering, explore relevant laws, and provide guidance on reporting and prevention.

The Basics: What is Fly Tipping?

Fly tipping involves the illegal disposal of controlled waste onto unlicensed land or containers. Controlled waste, regulated under the Environmental Protection Act of 1990, encompasses various waste types, making fly tipping a criminal offence regardless of the waste’s origin—be it household or commercial. Even seemingly minor actions, like leaving a bag of trash next to your full bin or dumping waste on someone else’s land without a waste management licence, qualify as fly tipping.

Types of Fly Tipping Waste:

Fly tipping encompasses various waste categories, including:

  • Household waste
  • Commercial waste
  • Garden waste
  • Construction waste
  • Other waste, such as vehicle parts, animal carcasses, clinical waste, asbestos, and chemical drums.

Littering vs. Fly Tipping:

The key distinction between littering and fly tipping lies in the volume of waste involved. Littering typically involves small, impromptu actions, often driven by carelessness. In contrast, fly tipping entails planned disposal of larger waste loads, resulting in more significant consequences for offenders.

The Law Around Fly Tipping:

Fly tipping is a criminal offence with penalties determined by factors like the waste quantity, environmental impact, and cleanup expenses. While it can be a police matter in certain situations, local councils are typically responsible for handling reports of fly tipping.

Reporting Fly Tipping:

To report fly tipping:

  • For small amounts of waste on land that isn’t your own, such as a few bin bags or one major appliance, you should contact the local council for the area where the waste is located. To find the correct council, use this postcode tool on the GOV.UK website. Once you report it, the council will take steps to organise the removal of the waste.
  • In the more extreme cases, you should report the waste to the Environment Agency National Customer Contact Centre, as they have the resources to deal with this quickly (GOV.UK)12. You should also contact them if waste is in or near a watercourse, as this could lead to contamination.
  • Provide detailed information, including location, waste type, quantity, and descriptions of culprits and vehicles involved.

Fly Tipping on Private Land:

If someone fly tips on your private land, it is your responsibility to dispose of the waste properly. Report the incident, and if the culprits are caught and prosecuted, you may be reimbursed. Keep receipts for waste disposal costs. Never transport the waste yourself without a waste carrier licence; use a licensed waste removal service.

Preventing Fly Tipping on Your Land:

Implement preventative measures such as securing gates, installing high fences, using CCTV and lighting, and conducting regular land checks to deter fly tippers.

Avoiding Fly Tipping Yourself:

Dispose of waste responsibly by using authorised waste removal services. Skip hire or wheelie bins are suitable options based on your waste volume and frequency of disposal needs.

  • Skip Hire: Ideal for one-time waste collection, skips come in various sizes to accommodate different waste types. Ensure your skip is appropriate for your waste type, and obtain a skip permit if required.
  • Bins and FEL Containers: For regular waste disposal, consider wheelie bins or Front End Loader (FEL) containers. Various sizes are available to suit your needs.

Ordering Your Waste Disposal Container:

Ordering skips, bins, or FEL containers is a straightforward online process. Provide your delivery postcode, specify the required container quantity and collection frequency, and choose from flexible payment options.

By understanding fly tipping, adhering to waste disposal regulations, and taking preventive measures, we can collectively combat this illegal activity and protect our environment.


Fly tipping remains a significant environmental concern, but through education, reporting, and responsible waste management, we can work together to mitigate its impact and preserve our surroundings for future generations.

Ready to change the way you manage your waste? Contact WasteSURE today to see how we do things differently

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Author Vijendra

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