How To Deal With Fly Tipping

Filed in Blog by on July 31, 2018 4 Comments
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After visiting one of my favourite places this week, I was upset by the amount of fly tipping that has been happening – and how it’s been increasing over the past few years.

Reducing the impact we have on our environment is an ongoing task that has been the subject of countless initiatives and drives, with varying degrees of success. However, as long as the problem of fly tipping persists, we have a long way to go before we can boast about our eco-friendliness.

Above all other issues with fly tipping, it is illegal. A prison sentence or hefty fine can await for those caught in the act, and if an owner of a site or area of land is aware of fly tipping on their property and allows it to happen, they are also committing an offence. Where fly tipping is carried out by dumping waste from a vehicle, the owner of the vehicle can be prosecuted, which means that individual can be prosecuted as soon as the vehicle is identified.

The most common types of fly tipping

The five main offenders when it comes to fly-tipped waste are tyres, miscellaneous electrical items, green waste, white goods and construction waste. Construction waste is the most common type of waste involved in fly tipping, including demolition and excavation waste, and the industry needs to improve significantly in this area. The use of grab hire lorries is an effective way of dealing with construction waste – using an attached hydraulic arm, these trucks can lift large amounts of waste into their bed. They are able to load around 16 tonnes of waste in 15-20 minutes when the waste is arranged in an easy to reach manner, so it’s not only effective, but efficient, too.

How are is fly tipping being tackled?

The Country Land and Business Association (CLA) has drawn up a five-point plan to combat the problem.

  1. ‘Impose and enforce penalties which better reflect the seriousness of the crime – seizure of vehicles must be the default penalty… if they are caught fly tipping”
  2. ‘Enforce fines for home and business owners whose waste is found in fly-tipped locations… to encourage waste disposal through legal channels’
  3. ‘Appoint a national fly tipping ‘tsar’, with responsibilities of coordinating agencies in the fight against fly tipping gangs.’
  4. ‘Develop new ways to aid clear up and support victims, including a scheme allowing private landowners to dispose of fly-tipped waste free of charge, as well as removing their liability to clear up waste on private land.’
  5. ‘Promote education and working in partnership, sharing best practice and advising landowners on how to reduce chances of becoming a victim.’

How can you help?

Away from the CLA, what can the regular person on the street do if they see fly tipping? Well, there are several things you can do to help, and several things that you absolutely shouldn’t do.

Do not touch the waste. It may be dangerous – it could be sharp, or it could contain harmful chemicals. Do not disturb the site, either – evidence may be present that can help prosecute the fly tippers.

Do try and work out what the waste consists of and how much there is.

It is crucial that you note the day, time and date that you saw the tipped waste, as well as its exact location and whether or not it is close to a body of water.

If you see fly tipping happening, make sure that you note down the appearances of those involved, what the waste looks like and how much has been tipped. Also note down the details of any vehicles involved, most importantly the registration number if possible.

Whilst there are initiatives in place from councils and official organisations, YOU can help by reporting incidents and ensuring any land you own is not used for fly tipping. It’s a significant problem, and this problem will cause more and more issues for the environment without vigilance and effective prevention tactics.

What about you – have you noticed an increase in fly tipping where you live?

About the Author ()

I am a long time supporter of the Green and Sustainable lifestyle. After being caught in the Boscastle floods in 2004, our family begun a journey to respect and promote the importance of Earth's fragile ecosystem, that focussed on reducing waste. Inspired by the beauty and resourcefulness of this wonderful planet, I have published numerous magazine articles on green issues and the author of four books.

Comments (4)

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  1. Hugh Counsell-Williams says:

    Here in Lincolnshire the flytipping problem goes from bad to worse. According to local newspaper reports of court cases involving criminals who have been prosecuted it is the so-called ‘traveller’ people who cause the biggest problem. They charge householders to remove rubbish and only accept cash – the waste is then tipped onto a local park or roadside verge. Utterly selfish.
    Unbtil higher penalyies are imposed including permanently confiscating their vehicles this antisocial activity is almost certainly going to contine.

    • Mrs Green says:

      Hi Hugh, that sounds a terrible situation. I hope some resolution is on the horizon because it’s causing untold damage to the environment and householders, who assume they are doing the right thing, are being taken for a ride.

  2. Rebecca says:

    There is an app called Love Clean Streets that allows you to submit photos of rubbish and other issues (graffiti, fly tipped rubbish, etc). It logs the location, time, type of issue and allows you to comment any other details. Once submitted the details are sent to your council to deal with the issue. You can then check up on where it has been dealt with and remind them via the app if it hasn’t. There is also a function to share on social media to further highlight the issue.

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