What is fly tipping?

Fly tipping (or dumping) is the illegal depositing of rubbish on a site that does not have a licence to accept waste. Fly tipped waste generally consists of household waste or large items of rubbish that are dumped illegally on land (e.g. laybys, ditches, fields) instead of being disposed of correctly in household waste recycling centres.

Fly tipping is illegal. UK waste comes under controls that impose a duty to ensure that all waste is disposed of correctly. Only holders of Waste Management Licences can recover, transport, deposit or dispose of waste. Waste can only be disposed of at officially authorised sites. Anyone fly tipping waste is committing a serious offence.

Why is fly tipping illegal?

  • Uncontrolled waste disposal can be hazardous to the public and wildlife, especially when the waste consists of toxic material, asbestos or medical waste.
  • There can be environmental damage to land and/or water courses.
  • Fly tipping is unsightly and detracts from the quality of the area.
  • Cleaning up fly tipping costs tax payers money.

Why do people fly tip?

Most people fly tip to avoid paying a disposal fee.

It is free to take household waste to Warwickshire County Council's Household Waste Recycling Centres, but there is a charge for commercial waste to be disposed of.

Householder Duty of Care

Householders must ensure that household waste is properly disposed of. The householder duty of care is provided by Section 34 (2A) of the Environmental Protection Act 1990 (inserted by the Household Waste Duty of Care Regulations 2005). A breach of the household duty of care would also attract an unlimited fine if convicted.

Steps you should take to fulfil your duty of care

If you have waste:

  • ensure that the person who takes control of your waste is licensed to do so
  • take steps to prevent it from leaving your control
  • store it safely and securely
  • prevent it from causing environmental pollution or harming anyone
  • describe the waste in writing and prepare a transfer note if you intend to pass the waste on to someone else

Fines and punishment

  • The council can issue a Fixed Penalty Notice of £400 for small scale fly tips.
  • Larger fly tipping cases will be tried at either a Magistrates' or Crown Court. The fines are unlimited and can also carry a prison sentence.
  • Where fly tipping involves the use of a vehicle, the driver can be prosecuted, as can the owner of the vehicle.
  • The council and/or the police have the powers to seize vehicles they believe to have been used for fly tipping.

What should you do if you see someone fly tipping?

Do not approach the person carrying out the fly tipping but do try to remember and record any details including:

  • date, time and location of the occurrence
  • what the waste looked like and how much was there
  • description of the person(s) or vehicle involved and registration details
  • take a photograph if possible

Never touch the waste or remove anything from the area. Do not open any bags or containers as they may contain hazardous material.

Report it to us using the contact details below.

Report an instance of fly tipping

You can report an instance of fly tipping via our online form below or by contacting us via telephone on 01789 260616.


Contact: The Streetscene team

Last updated on 28/03/2023