The illegal disposal or dumping of waste is known as fly-tipping, and this very serious criminal offence may be punishable by a fine of up to £3 million for companies and up to £95,000 for individuals. Convicted fly-tippers may also be liable for any investigation and enforcement costs involved, as well as any clean-up costs incurred. Additionally, they could receive a community punishment order or even a prison sentence.
Both public and private land is affected by fly-tipping and, whilst causing severe pollution of the environment. In some instances it can also be quite harmful to human health, as well as having a detrimental effect on wildlife and farm animals.
With the taxpayer being burdened with millions of pounds each year in clean-up costs alone, the Government sees fly-tipping as a very serious problem. Any producer of waste, whether that be a householder or commercial or industrial business, must ensure that it is disposed of in a lawful and appropriate manner.
Homeowners are required to take reasonable steps to ensure that their waste is lawfully disposed of by either the local authority or a business registered with the Environment Agency.
Most local authorities provide waste disposal sites or recycling centres (sometimes known as Civic Amenity Centres) where unwanted household items can be either disposed of or recycled. Some local authorities will also collect unwanted bulky household items, free of charge or for a small fee.
Some councils provide a free collection service for garden waste or, alternatively, this can be taken to a waste disposal site for composting. Composting can also be carried out at home, and a number of councils provide affordable composting bins for this purpose.
Householders using a company to dispose of their waste should always ensure that the business is a licensed carrier, and they should also ensure that they receive a proper invoice or receipt in case proof is required at a later date.
Commercial and Industrial waste
Normally, a licensed carrier is employed to dispose of commercial and industrial waste. However, if an individual wishes to dispose of this type of waste at a landfill or tip, then the landfill/tip will need to be licensed to accept such waste. There is a charge, known as a Gate Fee or Tipping Fee, for the disposal of commercial and industrial waste.
How can fly-tipping be prevented?
As well as being illegal and often very dangerous, the overall appearance of a neighbourhood can suffer too from fly-tipping.
If you see someone illegally dumping rubbish or, similarly, if you wish to report an incident of fly-tipping, contact your local authority or, alternatively, contact the Environment Agency on 0800 807 060. Always make a note of the time, date and place, together with a description of the waste. If vehicles are involved, make a note of their registration numbers.
Local authorities will, however, only clear fly-tipped rubbish from public or council-owned land, so in the case of fly-tipping on private land, the landowner is responsible for clearing it. Nevertheless, local authorities may be able to assist with the clearing of private land of fly-tipped rubbish, but there is normally a charge for this service.
Hinton’s Waste is a licensed waste carrier, providing a responsible, eco-friendly waste management service. This comprehensive service includes domestic and commercial skip hire, rubbish collection, as well as the capability to recycle commercial WEEE and the collection and disposal of hazardous waste. Please contact us for more information about our services.