What you can do to prevent fly-tipping

There are many ways you can help tackle fly-tipping these include:

  • making sure any workmen you hire dispose of your waste responsibly
  • making sure all your waste is kept secure until it's collected 
  • ask to see a Waste Carrier Certificate when using a private company 

Your responsibilities

All householders by law have a duty of care that requires the occupiers of domestic property to take all reasonable measures available to them in the circumstances to ensure that they only transfer household waste produced on that property to an authorised person. This reduces the chance of waste ending up in the hands of those who would fly-tip it.

You could end up with a fixed penalty notice if you have failed to comply with your duty of care under section 34(2A) of the Environmental Protection Act 1990 in England. For example:

  • where fly-tipped waste can be traced back to an individual who is found to have failed to take reasonable steps to ensure that they transferred the waste to an authorised person
  • where an unauthorised carrier is found to be carrying household waste that was directly transferred to them by the occupier of a domestic property
  • where an individual is found to have transferred their household waste to an unauthorised person at a site that does not have a permit or exemption

An authorised person may still fly-tip waste so tracing fly-tipped waste to a household does not necessarily demonstrate a breach of the duty of care. All individuals would be given an opportunity to demonstrate that they took reasonable steps to determine the person that took their waste was authorised to do so. If fly-tipped waste is traced to an individual and they are unable to identify who took their waste, or the carrier they identify is unauthorised, then it is reasonable to believe their duty of care was not met.

Registered waste carriers can be checked on the Environment Agency Public Register.