Fly-tipping is the illegal dumping of any waste or rubbish anywhere other than at a licensed waste site or tip.
How to report fly-tipping
You can report fly-tipping:
- to Bracknell Forest Council by completing our online form
- to Crimestoppers - 0800 555 111
Please provide the following useful information, where possible:
- where and when, date and time, the incident took place
- a description of what was tipped and the quantity
- what happened – how many people were involved, what did they look like, what did they do, details of any vehicle involved
- did anyone else witness the fly-tipping? (witnesses may be asked to appear in court)
How can we prevent fly-tipping?
Alternatively, any licensed waste carrier can remove waste or you can hire a skip privately. You can find out if a trader is a licensed waste carrier by checking the public registers online or by calling the Environment Agency on 0870 8506 506. Skipandbin.com is a useful price comparison site. It's a free and impartial service, giving 'live' prices from licensed skip companies operating in the local area.
Householders' Duty of Care
Anyone producing waste, including householders, is legally responsible for ensuring it is disposed of without endangering health or harming the environment. This applies to any type of waste that is unsuitable for disposal in your dustbin and unable to be taken as part of the weekly household waste collections.
The legislation states that householders must 'take all reasonable steps to ensure that waste is only taken from their homes by operators who are authorised to do so'. This means that the legal responsibility is placed on the householder to ensure that the trader is registered with the Environment Agency as a waste carrier. Householders are urged to take extra care when employing traders or private rubbish clearing operators. The householder could be faced with fine of £5,000 for failing in their ‘duty of care’ to pass on their rubbish to legal waste operators.
What are the costs of fly-tipping?
The Environment Agency estimates incidents of fly-tipping nationally each year cost between £100 million and £150 million to clean up. Residents are bearing the cost of the clearance of rubbish that is dumped by inconsiderate, anti-social householders and traders.
Fly-tipping also has environmental and health costs. The uncontrolled dumping can present a hazard to people and animals from items such as drums of toxic waste, asbestos sheeting, syringes and unused drugs. Depending on the nature of the waste and its location there can also be water and soil pollution.
Fly-tipping undermines legitimate businesses involved in waste management activities. Licensed operators have to charge more because they have invested in training and registration to comply with the law.
What are the laws about fly-tipping?
In the UK waste disposal comes under controls that impose a duty to ensure that waste is disposed of properly. Only holders of a Waste Carriers' Licence can transport, deposit or dispose of waste. This must be done at authorised sites that hold a Waste Management Licence.
Anyone fly-tipping waste is committing a serious offence. Fines in magistrates' courts are up to £50,000 and may include up to six months' imprisonment. If the case goes to Crown Court fines are unlimited, and may include up to two years' imprisonment or up to five years if hazardous waste is dumped. Where fly-tipping involves the use of a vehicle, the driver can be prosecuted, as can the person who owns the vehicle.