One thing is for sure, fly-tipping is on the increase and it’s caught the government’s attention as they pledge to crack down on illegal waste dumping.
The House of Commons Library defines ‘Fly-tipping’ as “the illegal disposal of household, industrial, commercial or other ‘controlled’ waste without a waste management licence”.
In the year dating April 2016 – March 2017, there were one million fly-tipping incidents in England – that’s the equivalent of nearly 114 every hour, which cost the taxpayers a staggering £58m to clear up. That signifies a 7% increase from the previous year and it’s the fourth year in a row that fly-tipping has risen.
Fly-tipping is a serious criminal offence that you can be prosecuted for. The Courts do have various powers available to them to tackle fly-tipping, which include;
- Substantial fines of up to £50,000 orders to pay costs
- An order to deprive rights to a vehicle used to commit the offence.
Fly-Tipping on my land – What Can I Do?
According to research by Keep Britain Tidy, two-thirds of farmers and landowners are hit by fly-tipping each year and with fly-tipping incidents on the rise, it’s bound to affect more landowners.
If you are a private landowner and become a victim of fly-tipping, sadly, it is your responsibility to safely dispose of the waste and pay any costs associated.
However, your first step should be to report the incident to your local authority or the Environment Agency. Although it is not their duty to remove the waste, they should be able to provide guidance on the best way to deal with the removal.
After receiving advice from the authority / Environment Agency, you will need to decide how to deal with the waste that has been dumped on your land, making sure that the waste cannot be interfered with or escape.
If you choose to employ a contractor to remove the waste, make sure that they are registered waste carrier. Best way to check is by calling the general enquires Environment Agency number on 08708 506506.
The final step is to give a thought as to why your land has been targeted…
Fly-tippers love a quiet spot where they can easily pull off the road and quickly dump stuff before quickly driving off. Can you place anything on the verge or in gateways to stop anyone pulling into your field? Locked gates, barbed wire and heavy boulders are the obvious deterrents, especially for rarely used gateways. But even simple things like remembering to shut gates can really help dissuade would be dumpers.
If your land is easily accessible via a drive or other public route it might be worth considering new fences or gates to prevent access. Those who fly tip are almost certainly lazy, so don’t make anything easy for them.
Remember, if the waste is dumped in the highway, it is the local authorities responsibility to remove it, not yours. Do what you can to stop access to your land.
If you want to report a fly-tipping incident you can do so here: https://www.gov.uk/report-flytipping