Fly-tipping is 'the illegal deposit of any waste onto land i.e. waste dumped or tipped on a site with no license accept waste'. Fly-tipped waste generally consists of large items of rubbish that are dumped illegally on land instead of being disposed of properly at a landfill site tip, often referred to as 'dumping'.
Fly-tipping is illegal. UK waste comes under controls that impose a duty to ensure that waste is disposed of properly. Only holders of a Waste Management License can recover, transport, deposit or dispose of waste. Waste can be deposited only 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, especially when the waste consists of drums of toxic material, asbestos sheeting or syringes.
- There can be damage to watercourses, and underlying soil quality from the dumped waste.
- Fly-tipping looks unsightly and this can harm investment into an area.
- Cleaning up fly-tipping costs taxpayers money.
Most people fly-tip to avoid paying the disposal fee called the landfill tax. Household rubbish is already paid for through council tax, but other waste is not, and a charge generally exists to have this waste removed or even to drop the waste off at a licensed tip your self.What is the legislation regarding fly-tipping?
There are several pieces of legislation relating to fly-tipping. In England, Wales and Scotland, the main legislation is the Environmental Protection Act 1990 (EPA 1990), Sections 33, 34 and 59. In Northern Ireland, the main powers are held in the Waste and Contaminated Land (Northern Ireland) Order 1997, Article 5 and the Pollution Control and Local Government (Northern Ireland) Order 1978, Article 5.
The following punishments can apply:
- Fly-tipping fines are up to £20,000 and/or 6 months' imprisonment. Fines are unlimited if the case goes to the Crown Court or up to 2 years' imprisonment, and up to 5 years if hazardous waste is dumped.
- It is also an offence to permit or authorise fly-tipping on land where a Waste Management License is not held.
- Where fly-tipping involves the use of a vehicle, the driver can be prosecuted, as can the owner of the vehicle.
- The police have powers to seize vehicles used for fly-tipping.