What should you do if you witness somebody
How can you report a case of fly-tipping?
You can either use the
online form to report an incident of fly-tipping or call:
Information that you enter on the form is strictly
We will ask you for the following information:
- The date, time and place that you saw the
- What has been fly-tipped and how much and
what it looks like.
- Any vehicle details and description
- Description of the person/people
- Any photographic evidence taken
- Your contact details (in case our officers
have trouble locating the fly-tip).
Never touch the waste - it
may contain syringes, broken glass, asbestos, toxic chemicals or
other hazardous substances.
Never disturb the site -
there may be evidence that could help identify the fly-tippers and
lead to their prosecution.
Never approach anyone you see
fly-tipping - they could become violent.
If you have any further questions about
fly-tipping, please call us on 01234 718060.
What is fly-tipping?
Fly-tipping is the illegal dumping of items
- general household waste
- large domestic items (e.g. fridges and
- commercial waste (e.g. builders' rubble and
- garden refuse
- litter or refuse accumulation
Why do people fly-tip?
Most people fly-tip to avoid paying the
disposal fee called the landfill tax. Household rubbish is
already paid for through council tax, but other waste is not, and a
charge is generally made to have this waste collected or to drop
the waste off at a licensed site yourself.
Why is fly-tipping illegal?
Fly-tipping can be dangerous. Dumping
waste can be hazardous to the public, especially when the waste
consists of drums of toxic material, asbestos sheeting or
syringes. Fly-tipping can also pollute surrounding land and
waterways, damage wildlife and ecosystems and costs the council tax
payer significant amounts of money to clear away.
In the UK, waste is disposed of under laws that impose a duty on
producers and transporters of waste to ensure that all waste is
disposed of properly. Only holders of a
Waste Carriers License can recover, transport, deposit or
dispose of waste. Waste can be deposited only at officially
authorised sites. Fly-tipping is illegal. Anyone caught
fly-tipping waste is committing a serious offence.
What is the law regarding fly-tipping?
There are several pieces of legislation relating to
fly-tipping. In England, Wales and Scotland, the main
legislation is the Environmental
Protection Act 1990 (EPA 1990), Sections 33, 34 and 59.
However, the recent Clean Neighbourhoods Act 2005 also makes some
extra provision for tackling fly-tipping.
The following punishments can apply for
- Cases that go to a Magistrates Court carry a
fly-tipping fine up to £50,000 and/or 12 months
- If the case goes to the Crown Court fines are
unlimited and a sentence of up to 5 years in prison can be awarded
if hazardous waste is dumped.
The person found guilty of fly-tipping is now
liable for the costs incurred by the Council in investigating and
clearing up the incident.
You could also face the same penalties if:
- you allow someone to fly-tip on your
- a vehicle registered to you is used to
You could face penalties of up to £5,000 for duty of care
offences, if you don’t check that the company or person you give
- has a license to carry waste
- is not taking it to an unlicensed site.
It is an offence to permit or authorise
fly-tipping on land where a Waste Management License is not held.
Where fly-tipping involves the use of a vehicle, the driver can be
prosecuted, as can the owner of the vehicle. The police and courts
have powers to seize vehicles used for fly-tipping and either sell
or dispose of them.
It is the policy of the Council to seek to
prosecute each offence of fly-tipping reported to us (where
evidence can be found). Think before you take the
Your responsibilities as a landowner:
Bedford Borough Council is only responsible
for clearing fly-tipped waste from the public highway and council
maintained parkland and green space. The council also has the
powers to remove fly-tipped waste from commercial premises, subject
to a court order.
Clearing fly-tipping from private land is the responsibility of
the landowner. If you are responsible for land or are a private
land owner, you must ensure that your land is as secure as is
Advice on how to dispose of business waste:
Waste produced as a result of business activity is classed as
controlled waste. Businesses are therefore legally
responsible for making sure that it is disposed of correctly. For
further information on what to do with business waste, visit:
- Business and Commercial Waste.
If you pay for a trade waste collection, make sure that
your waste is collected by a registered Waste Carrier.
Check whether a company is registered here:
Environment Agency’s Public Registers.
Rental properties are classed as businesses, and as
such, landlords should be aware of their responsibilities in
terms of waste disposal and Duty of Care. For further information
please view: Landlords
Guide to Duty of Care - Waste From Rental Properties.
Householders: Think before You Start
If you are having a new kitchen or bathroom put in take a moment
to think about how you are going to dispose of the waste before you
get started. Hire a skip (see local telephone directory or
search the internet). Some DIY waste can be taken to your local
Household Waste Site but there are some restrictions, both on the
amount of waste you can take and the vehicle you use to take it
to the HWRC. For more information visit: Household Waste Recycling Centre.
If in doubt, check!
If you are having alterations or improvements made to your
house by a company, make sure they are disposing of the waste
correctly. By law, householders are now responsible for
checking that contractors are correctly disposing of waste. Ask to
see a waste transfer certificate/licence.
Check the company is registered on the
Environment Agency’s Public Register.
Remember: There are no excuses!
Use the Council's Bulky Collection Service
If you have any bulky waste such as free standing furniture or
suites, fridges and freezers etc., these can be collected from you
for a small charge. Further details: Bulky Waste Collection.
Don't Forget - you can also take fridges and
freezers to your local Household Waste Recycling Centre at Barkers