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Fly Tipping; How to handle unwanted waste

Posted in Industry news
On 06 Jul 2017
By Jas Bagri

If you have ever been subject to fly-tipping you will know the nuisance and stress it can cause. Fly-tipping is the illegal dumping of any waste in any location such as roadsides, lay-bys or private land.

For businesses especially, it’s vital to deal with the waste quickly, safely and as effectively as possible.

Figures from the Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs show fly-tipping incidents have risen for the third year in a row, with local authorities having to deal with 936,000 fly-tipping incidents – which is an increase of 4% on the previous year!

The estimated cost of clearance of fly-tipping to local authorities in England in 2015/16 was nearly £50 million! Most fly-tipping incidents are household waste and in 2015/16 accounted for 67% of all incidents.

Fly-tipping poses a threat to humans and wildlife, damages the environment, and spoils enjoyment of towns and the countryside.

Where can fly-tipping take place?

The reality is fly-tipping can happen to any of us, at any time and is a growing issue for the UK. A recent fly-tipping incident at our Clifton Hall site in Swinton, really hit home that no site is safe.

“Fly-tipping is a growing issue not just in this area but right across the UK,” said Peter Lunt, Biffa’s site manager at Clifton Hall. “The fact that Biffa, a waste management company, is having to clear up fly-tipped waste from its own site just goes to show that no business is safe.”

What should you do if you’re subject to fly-tipping?

Firstly, report the incident to the relevant council to investigate (for both public & private land). Once reported, clearing up the waste is priority as illegally dumped waste can be dangerous as the contents are unknown.

On public land, responsibility for clearing waste falls to the local authority (or the Environment Agency, depending on the scale of the incident).

However, on private land, it is the responsibility of the landowner to remove fly-tipped waste and dispose of it legally. If left, local authorities and the Environment Agency have the power to enter land and clear it, with your business being liable for costs.

What to do if you witness fly-tipping?

Fly-tipping is a criminal offence in the UK. If you witness a fly-tipping incident don’t approach the offender. If it’s safe to do so, make a note of the following:

  • Time, date and location of the incident
  • Make, model and registration of vehicle (if any)
  • Description of the offender

Fly-tipping can carry a substantial fine or even (up to) 5 year prison sentence.

Find out more information on how to clear your unwanted waste safely here

References
GOV.CO.UK
CIWM

About the author

image of jas bagri

Jas Bagri

Jas is part of Biffa’s digital team, writing a diverse range of content on a number on industry topics. Jas’s favourite subject to write about is recycling, so look out for her handy tips coming your way!