What is Fly Tipping?
Fly-tipping is the dumping of waste on land which does not have a licence to accept it. It is illegal to do this and therefore, fly-tipping is a criminal offence.
What is the difference between dropping litter and fly-tipping?
Dropping litter, or ‘littering’, generally refers to small items of rubbish, such as cigarette butts and food and drink packaging, which are carelessly dropped on the floor in public areas instead of being placed in a bin. Fly-tipping refers to larger items that are dumped, which can be anything upwards of a single sack of rubbish.
Why is fly-tipping a problem?
Not only does unauthorised dumping of waste cause the land to become visually unattractive, particularly in quiet rural areas which are commonly targeted, it also pollutes the local environment. Any waste that is not disposed of properly can be harmful to humans and animals, especially if it is dangerous to health or can cause injury. It costs local authorities and taxpayers millions of pounds each year to clean up illegally dumped waste.
What are the most common items that are fly-tipped?
The most common items that are fly-tipped include household rubbish, electrical appliances such as fridges, freezers and washing machines, waste from construction and demolition work, garden rubbish, vehicle parts and waste from businesses.
What is the law regarding fly-tipping?
Fly-tipping is a crime for which the perpetrator(s) can be prosecuted. In England and Wales there are several pieces of legislation under the Environmental Protection Act 1990 and the Control of Pollution (Amendment) Act 1989 which stipulate the law regarding fly-tipping:
Environmental Protection Act (EPA) 1990
Under the EPA 1990, anyone who imports, produces, carries, keeps, treats or disposes of waste has a duty of care to make sure that waste materials are transported and disposed of lawfully. It is illegal for waste to be disposed of on any land that does not have a licence to accept waste. If a person is found guilty of breaking the law, either by illegally dumping waste or by failing to comply with their duty of care, they can be fined and made to pay all costs associated with the investigation and enforcement of the case. As part of the legislation, waste regulation authorities are given the power to issue notices enforcing the removal of waste which has been unlawfully disposed of. Failure to comply with this can result in a fine, and local authorities can enter the land to clean up the waste and recharge the costs incurred.
Control of Pollution (Amendment) Act 1989
Under the Control of Pollution (Amendment) Act 1989, it is illegal for anyone who is not a registered carrier of controlled waste to transport waste in the course of business or with the intention of making a profit. The obligations of registered carriers of waste are also specified under this act and the condition of vehicles that transport waste must comply with certain regulations. Under this Act, powers are given to any waste regulation authorities, including waste collection authorities and the police, to stop and search any vehicles which they believe may be carrying waste without having the authority to do so. Any person who fails to produce authority for transporting waste may be issued with a fixed penalty notice.
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