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Fly-Tipping Fine: What You Need to Know

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Posted 10.12.2020

By Clearabee

The fly-tipping fine has been around for a couple of decades to act as a deterrent to those who intend on dumping their rubbish on public land. Thousands of cases of fly-tipping are recorded each year and unfortunately, that number is steadily increasing. We’ll examine the penalty for dumping rubbish and how strongly it can be enforced.

old chair fly-tipped

Fly-Tipping Fines UK

Government sources state that fly-tipping is a criminal offence and can be punished with a maximum fine of £50,000. Serve punishments include a 12-month prison sentence and these are just for convictions conducted by a Magistrates Court.

Even more serious offences will be dealt with by a Crown Court that has powers to issue an unlimited fine and 5 years in prison. People who are found to be guilty of fly-tipping may also have to contribute to legal costs and compensation as well.

There are also powers to deter minor cases of fly-tipping too. Since 2016, local authorities have been able to issue fixed penalty notices that can range between £150 to £400. You can also be fined up to £400 if you use an unlicensed waste carrier which then goes on to fly-tip your waste. This is why it’s important to use a trustworthy service who have a waste carrier’s licence. At Clearabee we have a range of rubbish removal options that have been reviewed by over 8,000 people and been rated as excellent on Trustpilot. You can also find verification of our waste carriers licence here. Using Clearabee is a much easier and cheaper option when compared to the fines you could face if you dispose of your waste irresponsibly. You can even receive an instant quote with our waste calculator.

When Did the Fly-Tipping Law Come into Place?

The majority of powers for fines of the illegal dumping of waste were brought about by the Environmental Protection Act 1990. The document covers a wide array of topics including genetically modified substances but the main focus was on the mishandling of waste.

sofa fly-tipped

Additional details were established in the Clean Neighborhoods and Environment Act 2005. It adds extra details in regard to the unauthorised carrying of waste and littering. This act states that it is now an offence to litter anywhere and discarding chewing gum and cigarette butts count as littering.

How Much Fly-Tipping Happens Each Year?

The statistics for fly-tipping in England show that there were 1,072,000 incidents that were reported between April 2018 to April 2019. The 2000s saw a gradual decrease but from 2013 onwards, there has been a resurgence in fly-tipping cases. The lockdowns and COVID restrictions of 2020 have also led to an increase in fly-tipping due to waste centers having to close.

What Items are Most Commonly Fly-Tipped?

Some of the most commonly tipped items are sofas, mattresses and bulky waste in general. It has been reported that half of the fly-tipping incidents in 2017-2018 involved bulky waste. Confusing rules around what councils can and cannot collect have been said to contribute towards this fact. On the other hand, our Clearabee ‘Man and Van’ collections can get rid of your bulky waste on a same-day basis. We are also flexible with our load sizes and the different types of waste which we can collect. From sofas to construction waste, we’ll collect the lot.

How Many People Have Been Prosecuted for fly-tipping?

We’ve already seen that the years 2018-19 saw over 1 million incidents of fly-tipping but how many are actually prosecuted? That same report states that 499,000 enforcement actions were carried out within the same period, but not all of those would have led to a fly-tipping prosecution.

The year saw that:

  • 47,000 warning letters were sent
  • 76,000 fixed penalty notices were issued
  • 2,397 prosecutions were carried out
  • success rates for prosecutions were over 96% 
  • 2 individual fines were issued which both exceeded £50,000 for the first time

What about Fly-Tipped Waste on Private Land?

If you spotted waste which has been tipped on a public park you would be able to notify the council who would eventually clear the rubbish, this is very different when the waste is on private land. Unfortunately, if you find waste tipped on your land, it is your responsibility to get rid of it. These rules have been contested over the years but it is still the case today.

waste tipped in a field

The National Fly-Tipping Prevent Group has put together some advice for landowners which includes methods to prevent fly-targeting on your premises. These include adding secure gates or strategically placing physical barriers, positioning lights to increase visibility, installing CCTV and removing any waste so it does not encourage any other fly-tippers.

Affordable Waste Clearances with Clearabee

If you have had waste tipped on your land or simply need a hand getting rid of some old rubbish, Clearabee will be able to help. With rubbish collections, skips and Skip Bags, we’ve got a solution for every type of waste or scenario that you might find yourself in.

Clearabee collecting armchair

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