Fly-tipping is the illegal dumping of rubbish or bulky items on land where dumping isn't allowed. It can be dangerous to human and animal health. Fly-tipping pollutes land and waterways. It's expensive to clear away fly-tipped rubbish. If you see someone fly-tipping, you should report it to the local council.

Council waste and recycling centres

Local councils have waste disposal sites and recycling centres. You can bring most unwanted household items to council sites for disposal or recycling.

What you can do about fly-tipped waste

If you see fly-tipped waste, don't:

  • touch the waste because there might be syringes, broken glass, asbestos, toxic chemicals or other hazardous substances
  • disturb the site in case there's evidence that could identify the fly-tippers and lead to their prosecution

You should:

  • try to work out what the waste is and how much there is
  • note the day, date and time you saw the tipping
  • note the waste's exact location and whether it is in or near water
  • take a photograph and give this to the local council

If you see someone fly-tipping

If you're nearby when someone is fly-tipping, you should note:

  • how many people are involved and what they look like
  • what they tipped - how much and what it looks like
  • information about the vehicles they use including make, colour and registration number

Waste crime

Sometimes people bring waste in a vehicle and dump this on land or by the road. It is a criminal offence to dump waste illegally. You could be fined or get a prison sentence for waste crime. It is also an offence to allow fly-tipping to take place.

Investigating waste crime

The police and authorised officers of the Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs can stop, search and seize vehicles used or suspected of being used for illegal waste activities, including fly-tipping.

Report waste crime

Dumping or burning waste where it's not allowed, or allowing others to dispose of waste on your land, is a criminal offence. To read more about waste crime and how you can report it, go to:

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