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Fly Tipping

Stevenage Borough Council treats this problem very seriously. It has responsibility for acting on reports of fly tipping on land in the open air maintained at public expense to both remove the waste and to locate and pursue offenders

What is fly tipping?

Fly tipping is the common term used to describe waste illegally deposited on land as described under section 33 of the Environment Protection Act 1990.

The definition includes items ranging from a single black rubbish bag to multiple loads of construction waste. Residents who place side waste (excess waste that cannot fit in the bin being collected) may face enforcement action under sections 33, 46 and 87 of the 1990 Environmental Protection Act.

What are the penalties for fly tipping?

  • The fly tipping of controlled waste is a serious criminal offence which carries a fine of up to £50,000 and/or 5years imprisonment.
  • If the case is very serious and goes to Crown Court an unlimited fine may be imposed and the prison term goes up to 5 years.
  • It is important to realise that there can be offences committed by others before the fly tip, such as permitting the fly tip or causing the fly tip and the sanctions are the same as actually doing the fly tipping, or, if there is vehicle involved, there are offences relating to the controller of the vehicle.
  • Anyone giving waste to a another person for disposal without checking a) whether that person is authorised to carry waste b) where the waste is going, and the waste is subsequently fly tipped will be open to investigation and possible prosecution for causing the fly tipping.

Preventing fly tipping

  • If you give waste to anyone else ensure they are authorised to carry it. Ask for their carriers authorisation. You can check online at the Environment Agency's website or by telephone 08708 506506.
  • Ask where the waste is going. Use the online waste directory to check legitimate sites.
  • Ask for a receipt detailing where the waste is going, vehicle details, and carriers authorisation number - this is a legal obligation if you are in business but is good practice if you are a private householder. Further information is available from the DEFRA website.
  • If you are a business and would like to know more about protecting your environment use NetRegs online.
  • Stevenage Borough Council offers a large item collection service for household waste you need to have removed. For information about this service please visit our large item collection page or ring 01438 242323.

Witnessing fly tipping

If you witness fly tipping any information that you can provide will greatly assist us in our fight against this illegal activity.

If you witness a incident in progress involving a vehicle call 999

To assist investigations it would be helpful if you could record as much detail as possible and report it immediately. All information is valuable to us and will be treated confidentially. If you can take photos (e.g. camera phones) please do so.

Remember: do not approach any individuals and do not put yourself in any danger.

  • Date and time that you saw the fly tippers in action or discovered the rubbish.
  • Location of the incident - address or local landmarks.
  • A description of the rubbish e.g. builders rubble.
  • How many people did you see?
  • Did you recognise any of them?
  • Can you describe them? (e.g. sex, hair colour, height, distinguishing features)
  • What did you actually see these people do?
  • Was there a vehicle involved - make / model / colour / registration number?
  • Were there any distinguishing features or signs on the vehicle?
  • Where you were when you saw the fly tipping: what kind of view did you have? How far away were you? What were the weather and light conditions?

Remember - don't put yourself at risk!

The Environment Agency has the statutory responsibility to investigate the larger scale fly tipping incidences where the waste may pose a serious risk to the environment and where the activity is linked to organised crime.


You can use the online form available on the right to report a fly tipping incident.

Fly tipping on private land

Land managers, occupiers or owners of private property are responsible for clearing fly-tipping on private land. For more advice on dealing with fly tipping on private land, landowners should refer to this link:

Information for Landowners

Regardless of whether land is public or private, fly tipping should be reported. Contact the Environment Agency or Stevenage Borough Council Environmental Services to see if the incident can be investigated. Local authorities and the Environment Agency have an agreement, known as the Fly-tipping Protocol that sets out which types of incident each will respond to. Generally smaller incidents will be dealt with at local authority level.


Flytipping reporting form

Useful links

Film clip on flytipping

Environment Agency - Waste Carrier Register

DEFRA - Environment

Related pages

Commercial waste service

Contact details

Environmental Services
Stevenage Borough Council
Daneshill House

0800 136661