Full plastic sacks and bags dumped on a grass verge

We all produce waste as part of our daily lives, whether it is at home or at our work place. Most of us dispose of it properly in a safe way but a few people choose to tip their waste in the countryside or dump it on someone else’s land. This is fly-tipping and it is illegal.

Why is fly-tipping illegal?

Fly-tipped waste can be dangerous and hazardous to the public particularly when it consists of drums of toxic material, asbestos or syringes. Fly-tipped waste can also pollute surrounding land and nearby watercourses, damage wildlife and ecosystems. It is unsightly and it costs the council tax payer a significant amount of money to remove it.

What is the law regarding fly-tipping?

Fly-tipping of any waste is a serious criminal offence that carries a fine of £50,000 or up to 5 years in prison. You can read what the law says about fly-tipping: Environmental Protection Act 1990: Fly tipping .

Waste management permits  and exemptions cover certain sites where waste is deposited or treated.  If the appropriate permits or exemptions are not in place for a site then it is an offence to deposit waste there.

If a vehicle is used for fly-tipping, the driver and owner can both be prosecuted. Police and courts have power to seize and dispose of vehicles used in fly-tipping incidents.

The law also places a duty of care on producers and transporters of waste (see: What is the duty of care? for more information) to ensure the waste is disposed of properly. Only licensed waste carriers can transport and dispose of waste, and waste has to be disposed of at a site for which the appropriate permits are in place.

How to report a fly-tipping incident

You can report the incident online:


We will require the following information:

  1. the day, date and time and location
  2. description of any people involved
  3. what was fly-tipped and how much
  4. details of any vehicle involved including registration number, colour, make and model.

Please remember if you see someone fly-tipping never approach them as they may become violent. Never touch or sort through the waste as it may contain hazardous materials, broken glass or syringes.

Where can I get advice on how to dispose of my waste?


In an effort to reduce the number of fly-tipping incidents, the Council provides the bulky item collection service. This service is for disposing of large bulky items that the refuse collection contractor will not normally collect. A standard charge applies. For more information, see: Request a bulky item collection .

Household waste can also be taken to one of the Council's Household Waste Recycling Centres .


Waste produced by businesses is called ‘controlled waste’ and like all waste has to be disposed of properly. You can find out more about waste produced by businesses and your responsibility to dispose of it properly.

See also