Fly Tipping Facts and Penalties

Posted on March 12, 2019 in Waste Solutions

fly tipping facts

According to government statistics, over 1,000,000 fly-tipping incidents are dealt with by councils each year – the equivalent of nearly 114 every hour!

Nearly two-thirds of reported incidents involve household waste, and around a third were of a vanload or less. The total cost to authorities was £58 million – that is approximately £2 for every household. The extent of the problem is such that it drains council resources that could better be employed elsewhere. Half a million enforcement actions take place every year, costing the taxpayer £17 million.

While most incidents involve household waste, often from domestic home improvement works such as building, gardening, plumbing and plastering, a substantial number of enforcement actions were against traders who dumped waste to avoid paying the landfill taxes.

Fly-tips, as we in the waste management industry know, are very awkward to clear up because there is a real risk that the reason the waste was dumped illegally is because it contains hazardous materials such as asbestos which requires specialist handling. That is why some rogue traders dump the waste, and the taxpayer has to pick up the bill.

Fly-tipping is a criminal offence punishable by a fine of up to £50,000 or 12 months imprisonment if convicted in a Magistrates’ Court. The offence can attract an unlimited fine and up to 5 years imprisonment if convicted in a Crown Court. Additionally, there are unlimited penalties under the Environmental Protection Act 1990, which is used if there is environmental contamination or injury as a result of the waste being dumped, as well as prison sentences.

Fines could be imposed on people – without them being taken to court – if their rubbish ends up in an illegal tip, under a proposed new law.

The measure is being suggested as part of a government consultation to tackle fly-tipping in England and Wales.

Under the plans, households could be hit with a £400 maximum penalty for failing to take “reasonable measures” to ensure rubbish isn’t being taken away by an “unauthorised person”.

The move is meant to encourage people to check the Environment Agency (or Natural Resources Wales) online register to learn whether the person taking away their household rubbish is registered to do so.

Even though it’s already illegal to allow an unauthorised person to remove domestic waste, issuing fixed penalties would be an alternative to going to court – which could save local authorities money in the long run.

For information on our Waste/Junk removal services please call 0845 604 1288 and speak with one of our friendly team or visits Protech Waste Solutions.