Fly tipping, as well as being illegal, is a public nuisance. It can turn seemingly tidy and welcoming neighbourhoods into unattractive and rundown areas. In addition to this, it can also cause unpleasant smells and attract pests and vermin, including rats and flies.
In 2014, statistics from Defra showed that there were 900,000 cases of fly-tipping in England that were handled by local authorities – a 5.6% rise on the previous year. Littering alone costs the taxpayer between £717m and £850m a year to clear up.
In this article, we’ll be detailing exactly what fly tipping is, what to do if your land has been fly-tipped on and the penalties for fly-tipping should someone be caught doing it.
What Is Fly Tipping?
Fly tipping is the illegal dumping or disposal of waste by those who do not hold a valid licence to do so. Often, fly tipping occurs in quiet, unauthorised areas where the perpetrators are less likely to be seen or caught.
Is Fly Tipping An Offence?
Yes, fly tipping is an offence. Under the Environmental Act 1990, someone who commits this crime can be prosecuted, whether disposing of commercial or domestic waste. According to the law, a person would be fly-tipping if:
- Waste is deposited on a piece of land without a waste management licence.
- Waste is allowed to be deposited on a piece of land.
- Waste is caused to be deposited on a piece of land.
- Waste is retained, treated or disposed of by someone who does not hold a valid waste management licence.
- Waste is retained, treated or disposed of in a way which is harmful to the health of humans or ways which are likely to damage the environment or cause pollution.
What To Do If Someone Has Fly Tipped On Your Land
If you find that a fly tipping offence has been committed on your land, it is your responsibility, as the landowner, to safely dispose of the waste and pay the costs associated for doing so. However, there are a few things you must do both before and after you deal with the abandoned waste.
- Clearing fly-tipped waste is the responsibility of the landowner.
- Do not touch or look through the waste that has been dumped, as it could contain hazardous waste.
- Ensure that the waste cannot be touched or interfered with by passersby.
- If you see hazardous waste amongst copious amounts of rubbish, such as pesticides or what looks to be asbestos, hire a specialist hazardous waste removal company to dispose of the waste safely and responsibly.
- However, if it seems to be general waste then our specialist team here at Hinton’s Waste, will be happy to help. We provide prompt and reliable fly tipping clearance services, ensuring your land is free from waste once again.
- Ensure that any waste removal firm is a licensed and registered waste carrier. To check, contact the Environment Agency.
It’s important that the incident is reported to either your local authority/council or the Environment Agency. However, it’s important to note that they are in no way obliged to remove the waste from your property. Despite this, they can still offer guidance on the best way to remove the waste and investigate how it came to be there in the first place.
What Is The Penalty For Fly Tipping?
Prosecution for fly tipping is enforceable by the Local Authority and Environment Agency under the Environmental Protection Act 1990. Depending on the severity of the offence, those committing the crime could end up in prison for up to five years, or be issued with a fine of up to £50,000.
Less severe fly tipping offences can land the perpetrator in prison for up to 12 months or they will be made to pay the cost of waste removal. Some may be given a fixed penalty of £100, mainly for household fly tipping. This fine can also be given to homeowners who fail to observe local bin collection days, thus leaving waste to accumulate unnecessarily.
Businesses can also be fined for fly tipping offences. For example, a business that has failed to register themselves as a licensed waste carrier will be made to pay a fine of £300 and served a Fixed Penalty Notice.
If a company breaches its responsibility to dispose of waste safely and responsibly, they could be given a fine of up to £5,000. Repeat offenders may have the use of their vehicles highly restricted to prevent them from committing the offence again.
How To Prevent Fly Tipping On Your Land
Unfortunately, the responsibility to clear the land lies with its owner. To prevent offenders from fly-tipping on your property, follow these simple steps:
- Ensure roadside gateways are gated or blocked by other obstacles, such as large logs or visible wire.
- Ensure all gates are closed and locked when not in use.
- Improve visibility around the area. Trim back hedges and cut back tree branches around your property. Fly-tippers are most likely to dispose of waste in areas where they cannot or are least likely to be seen.
- Install or improve the lighting around your property to make the perimeter more visible.
- Try installing security cameras, pointing onto the areas that are most likely to be fly-tipped on. If you’re on a budget, you can buy dummy cameras. These will trick offenders into thinking it’s fully operational and may record them in the act. Therefore, they will refrain from dumping waste on or around your property.
If you’re in need of a fly tipping clearance service, look no further than Hinton’s Waste. With a member of our specialist and trustworthy team at the helm of our operations, we will always deliver prompt and reliable service every single time. For more information about fly-tipping clearance or other waste management solutions we provide, get in touch with us today – we operate throughout Croydon, Sutton, London and the surrounding areas.