The definition of fly-tipping is the depositing of waste on land which does not have the license to take it. When tipping electrical items, mattresses or a trash bag of waste in the street, it will not only make the area look run down and ugly, it is a local nuisance. The greater end of the fly-tipping scale is the tipping of several vehicle loads of demolition and construction waste on different types of land.
If the tipped material contains asbestos or toxic materials, this uncontrolled and illegal waste disposal can become a hazard to the public. Dumped waste will also cause a risk of damage to the soil quality and watercourses.
The councils in England dealt with more than a million incidents of fly-tipping between 2016 and 2017. The cost associated with the clearing of this illegally tipped waste is believed to be more than £58 million.
“It is important to note that fly-tipping is actually a serious criminal offence and you could be prosecuted for this,” says waste carrier service providers Roupcycle. There are various powers awarded to the courts to tackle fly-tipping including substantial fines of up to £50,000, imprisonment and an order which deprives the rights of the vehicle which was used to commit this offence.
What to Do When Someone Has Fly-tipped Onto Your Land?
If you are a landowner and have become a victim of fly-tipping, you need to know what you have to do. You are responsible for the safe disposal of the waste and will have to pay the costs associated with doing this. You will also need to report the fly-tipping incident to the Environment Agency or your local authority. While the authority does not have any obligation to remove the waste from your land, they may be able to provide guidance on the best ways to deal with the waste.
You will have to determine how you are going to be dealing with the waste that has been dumped on your land. When doing this, you have to ensure that the waste cannot escape or be interfered with.
When hiring a contractor to remove the waste, you need to ensure that they are a registered waste carrier. You can check this by getting in touch with the Environment Agency and it is recommended that you call them.
You will also need to consider why your land has been targeted by fly-tippers. Consider if there is easy access to the land and if there are any areas where people will be able to fly-tip without being seen. Once you have determined why your land is targeted, you have to take some steps to rectify this. Making your property less vulnerable is important if you want to stop any future fly-tipping.
How Do You Stop Your Waste From Being Fly-tipped?
The council will not be obligated to remove any bulky waste items such as the sofa or fridge. However, there are many local authorities that do provide a bulky waste collection service. You will have to contact the authority to find out more about these services.
Most councils will have a garden waste collection service and will often provide you with a separate bin for this. If this is not the case, you will generally be able to take this waste to your local tip for composting. You will also be able to compost this waste at home.
If you run a business and have commercial waste, you will need to hire a registered waste carrier to ensure that your waste is removed and disposed of correctly and legally. If you want to dispose of your business waste yourself at the tip or dump, the site will have to be licensed to handle commercial waste. In these cases, you will generally have to pay a landfill tax and gate fee.
If you have a third-party such as a builder removing waste as part of a project, you have to ensure that they are a registered waste carrier. You should ask to see their certification or check with the Environment Agency.
Dumping is illegal and you need to report it. If you report this, the rubbish can be removed and you will help a crime be investigated. If you see someone fly-tipping or want to report an area where fly-tipping is occurring, you need to note certain information.
The date place and time of the incident will be required. You also need to provide what the waste looks like and how much there is. A description of the person or vehicle you have seen is also important.
The Environments Agency and local authorities have the powers to tackle fly-tipping and they have protocols in place to address this issue. The protocols will determine how they handle different types of incidents. Local authorities will generally deal with smaller scale and frequent incidents while the Environments Agency will deal with larger scale and more serious incidents.