FAQs about fly-tipping
What is fly-tipping?
Fly-tipping is when waste is illegally dumped on roads or land which is not licensed for waste. Fly-tipped waste generally consists of materials such as household waste, large domestic items such as fridges and furniture, garden refuse, commercial waste, such as building rubble and soil, asbestos waste and tyres.
You are fly-tipping if you leave waste beside street bins, on the pavement in front of your home, at the rear of home, on the floor in communal bin areas, on the floor at recycling centres that do not accept the waste you are recycling or anywhere that is not a registered waste facility or container.
It is an anti-social and criminal act leading to a rise in the fear of crime, a negative effect on other resident’s quality of life or a change in how residents feel about their home, street, and town.
Fly-tipping can have impacts on the local environment by causing pollution, being a possible danger to public health and being hazardous to wildlife.
Why is fly-tipping a problem?
Fly-tipping is a problem because of the potential harm it may cause to our water supplies and the environment. It is also a risk to humans, wildlife and farm animals and spoils our enjoyment of the environment. Fly-tipping also costs landowners and the taxpayer around £100 million each year to clear it up.
How can I help reduce fly-tipping?
You can help reduce fly-tipping by always using a registered waste disposal company and reporting any fly-tipping in your area.
How can I report fly-tipping?
If you spot a fly tip or you have some information relating to one, please call 01636 650000 or submit a report using our online form. These should include the date, time and place of the occurrence; what the waste looks like and how much there is; a description of any vehicles involved (including the vehicles' registration numbers) and a description of any persons involved in the offence or their identity if known.
What happens when I report fly-tipping?
A waste enforcement officer will attend the site of the fly-tipping as soon as they can to investigate. This will involve taking photos of the waste and examining it for any evidence which may help to identify the offenders. If the land is owned by the Council, we will then arrange for the waste to be removed as soon as possible. If the land is privately owned, we will alert the landowner and ask them to arrange removal. Where any land is repeatedly subject to fly-tipping, the Council will try to identify and put in place appropriate preventative measures.
Is fly-tipping a criminal offence?
Fly-tipping is criminal offence under section 33 of the Environmental Protection Act 1990.
Can I be issued with a fixed penalty notice for fly-tipping?
Offenders can be given a fixed penalty notice of £400 for small scale fly-tipping. The penalty is discounted to £200 if paid within 10 days.
In serious cases you can be fined up to £50,000 or sentenced to 12 months in prison if convicted in a magistrates' court. If you are convicted at crown court, then fly-tipping can attract an unlimited fine and up to five years in prison. We can also ask the court to make an order to confiscate vehicles used in fly tip offences.
Why did I not get issued with a penalty for littering instead of fly-tipping?
Fly-tipping should not be confused with littering as littering is generally smaller items.
Fly-tipping is normally considered larger items, which may be mixed materials such as black sacks, garden waste, building materials and furniture.
Fly-tipping may be caused by an individual offender or a business. No matter who leaves the waste or what the items are, fly-tipping is illegal and is a crime.
What happens if I am given a Fixed Penalty Notice but do not pay it?
FPNs give the recipient the opportunity to discharge liability for the alleged offence without the need to attend court, by payment of a fixed penalty to the local authority or agent acting for them. If an FPN is offered to an offender and is not paid, any subsequent prosecution is for the fly-tipping offence not for non-payment of the FPN and as such any non-payment case will be passed to legal services for assessment and prosecution of the offence.
Is fly-tipping only large amounts of waste?
No, if you dump any waste or unwanted items on any land or treat the waste in some way without permission then you are committing an offence.
What if waste or items are left on someone else's land?
You are still fly-tipping unless you have the landowner’s permission and the land has an environmental permit to accept the waste, normally from the Environment Agency.
As a householder am I responsible if a waste removal firm fly-tips my rubbish?
By law, it is the householder who is responsible for making sure their waste is disposed of safely and legally. When fly-tipping occurs, it is often carried out by illegal waste carriers who promise to take your waste away for a bargain fee but then dump it. If the waste is dumped illegally, the waste could be traced back to you rather the person who dumped it and you would be held responsible if you have not taken reasonable steps to ensure it is handed over to a legitimate waste carrier. If you are looking to start on a household project, consider what waste you may generate and how you will dispose of it once the job is done. Before hiring any individual or company, take down the individual's or company details and check with the Environment Agency that they are a registered waste carrier.
What other ways are there of disposing of my household rubbish?
You can take your household rubbish to the household waste recycling centre on Brunel Drive in Newark, where residents can recycle their household waste. To find out where all of the County's recycling centres are, the opening times and the waste that can be accepted at each site please visit Nottinghamshire County Council website.
For large unwanted items you can make a booking online or you can call our customer services centre on 0115 981 9911 between 8.30am and 5pm, Monday to Friday. Payment will be taken in advance over the telephone using your credit or debit card.
If you intend to use a commercial waste service, it is really important that you check that they are licensed. Waste carriers are registered by the Environment Agency and listed on its website. You can also check by calling 03708 506 506.
Is it fly-tipping if I leave waste on the footpath outside my home?
Yes, it is your waste and you are responsible for it until it is collected by us. On your collection day, place your bin at the edge of your property at the nearest point to the footpath or highway, closest to where the collection vehicle passes by 7am.
- remove your bin from its collection point by the end of the day or directly after it has been collected
- collection date calendars are delivered to every household once a year (if you need a new calendar, contact us)
- bins will only be emptied on the days shown on your collection calendars
- we will only empty bins that have closed lids and no extra waste will be taken
Waste should not:
- be left on the street days before your collection
- be left on land that is not your own
- include items that cannot be automatically collected by the Council (like building waste, garden waste, furniture or mattresses)
- leave any extra waste at the side of your bin or on land once your bin has been emptied. It is your responsibility to legally dispose of this waste
If you do, you may be prosecuted for fly-tipping.
Is it fly-tipping if I leave waste at the rear of my home?
Yes, it is your waste and it is your responsibility to ensure that the waste is not deposited on any land which is not licenced for waste. You must ensure that your waste is kept on your own land until you have made arrangements for its lawful removal.
What happens if my waste or unwanted items are found in fly-tipped material?
You will be contacted by us and asked to explain how your items became fly-tipped. If you are unable to give a valid reason, enforcement action will begin.
In serious cases you may be invited to attend an ‘interview under caution’ as part of the investigation. Where no response is given, enforcement action will begin.
How can I dispose of my business waste?
The Council no longer collects business waste. You could contact adjacent local authorities or local private contractors. Details are in the yellow pages or on the internet.
It is very important that you use a reputable organisation which is able to provide the duty of care documentation for you. This means you can evidence where your waste is sent for disposal. In order to help your make an informed decision, we would recommend you check their details.
You cannot use a household bin, household recycling centre or recycling bring sites to dispose of any type of business waste. This would be a duty of care offence under section 34 of the Environmental Protection Act 1990.
What happens if I disagree with the service of an FPN?
If you have been offered an FPN it is because there is strong evidence you have committed a waste offence. You may appeal to WISE as indicated on the FPN who will review any comments you have and the evidence. If you are advised the FPN is still considered valid you will still be able to pay the FPN at the initial rate. If it is not paid it will be increased to the higher value and you will be reminded of the offence and the amount.
You can refuse to pay any FPN but in these cases the case file will be reviewed against the Council's enforcement policy and ultimately the Courts will decide on the case and any penalty or costs on conviction. Fly-tipping is a criminal offence and being convicted of an offence will mean it will be recorded as such.