If you have ever found yourself burdened with an overwhelming pile of rubbish, chances are that dumping it someplace random and never having to think of it again may have crossed your mind. If you didn’t act on it, good for you. If you did—you may have unknowingly committed a crime known as fly tipping. So, what is fly tipping? Fly tipping is known as the illegal deposit of any waste onto land that does not have a licence to accept it. Believe it or not, those who have committed this crime can be prosecuted, and most often are.
A Common Occurrence
Chances are, you or someone you know is guilty of fly tipping. According to experts, fly tipping has increased 300% during the pandemic. It can be done by an individual offender or a business, but regardless of who does it, fly tipping is a crime.
Unsurprisingly, fly tipping has caused quite the fury among local communities and even neighbours who have recently found themselves becoming the victims of fly tipping.
Even before the pandemic, English councils spent roughly £12.8m on cleaning up over 30,000 large tips. Oftentimes, this is because people may not even know that what they are doing is considered a crime. To clarify, fly tipping is considered the illegal dumping of liquid, solid, garden refuse, larger domestic items such as fridges and mattresses, and more.
Fly tipping is not to be confused with littering, which is the act of dumping small, individual items. Fly tipping involves the dumping of large items that may be mixed materials such as black sacks and furniture, mattresses, and so on.
The Negative Effects of Fly Tipping
Those who commit the act of fly tipping may not actually be aware of the consequences that it has. However, fly tipping can cause pollution, has a negative effect on other resident’s quality of life, can be a possible danger to public health, can be hazardous to wildlife, and much more.
What Happens If Someone Does it to You?
If you have been the victim of fly tipping, you are probably not only upset, but also confused as to what you should do. Unfortunately for you, if someone fly tips on your property, then you are responsible for cleaning it up. If you don’t have the manpower to do so, you can always hire someone to do so. If a prosecution takes place, you may be able to get back the money you spent on the rubbish removal hire.
Reporting the Situation
After having the waste removed, you should report the situation to your local authority. If you don’t know how to report fly tipping, all you need to do is reach out to your local council for assistance. This can typically be done via a phone call or email.
Keep in mind, however, that not all fly tipping reports get prosecuted. If there is no evidence of fly tipping other than you being the witness, you may be asked to give a witness statement. If you aren’t willing to do so, your tip may not be able to be further investigated.
If you happen to be a witness of fly tipping, try your best to get photographic evidence of it happening. This is, oftentimes, the best form of evidence that you can get without you having to give a witness statement.
What Happens If You Get Prosecuted?
If you are prosecuted for fly tipping, you may be feeling anxious and frightened. After all, you may be facing imprisonment or, at the very least, a hefty fine. In this situation, the best thing to do would be to hire a barrister to help you with your case.
If you do get prosecuted and are found guilty, you may face a fine of up to £50,000 and 12 months imprisonment, depending on the severity of the crime.
One thing to remember is that if your waste is found in fly tipped material, you will be contacted and asked to explain how it got there. If you are unable to give a valid reason, enforcement action will begin.
To prevent this, it’s incredibly important to make sure that you are getting rid of your waste as best as possible and in a manner that is legal.
What to Do with Your Waste
If you have an excessive amount of waste, do not turn to fly tipping. Instead, large quantities of waste can be taken to the Household Waste Recycling Centre (HWRC). You can also hire a professional service to come out and remove the waste for you.
Another option would be to get a skip hire to temporarily place on your property while you are clearing out any junk you may have in your home or business. Once the skip hire is full, it can be collected and taken to the dump or a proper place that can dispose of the waste.
Finding the Right Company
If you have decided to hire a company to help you dispose of your waste, be sure that you are hiring someone you can trust. Legitimate companies acting within the law know that you will need proof of how your waste is being disposed of. Therefore, they will be able to provide you with all of the documentation you need.
Fly tipping is the illegal process of dumping waste on unauthorised land. Be sure to avoid doing this as you could end up with a hefty fine or in jail. Not to mention, it can be dangerous to the environment and cause significant pollution.
If you have a tremendous amount of waste to get rid of, don’t succumb to fly tipping. Instead, hire someone to come out and remove the waste for you so you don’t have to risk going to jail or getting hit with a fat fee for doing so.