People convicted of fly-tipping offences can:

  • receive substantial fines
  • receive prison sentences of up to five years
  • be made to pay the costs of enforcement, investigation and clean-up
  • be made to give up any vehicles used to carry out fly-tipping.

What you must do

You are responsible for the disposal of any material that is fly-tipped on your land. You have a legal duty of care to ensure that the waste is disposed of or recycled at an authorised facility.

Duty of care - your waste responsibilities

If you arrange for the waste to be removed, you must check that the person who removes the fly-tipped waste is a registered waste carrier.

You must complete a waste transfer note before you pass your waste on to someone else, or a consignment note if the waste is hazardous/special waste. You and the waste carrier must both sign the note.

Hazardous/special waste

Good practice

If you discover fly-tipped material on your land, report it using the contact details available at:

This link provides information about who to contact. It applies to Northern Ireland and Scotland. 

Do not touch the fly-tipped waste:

  • It may not be safe, as the waste can include substances or objects that could pose a risk to you, like toxic materials or sharp objects. Do not open bags or drums. Piles of soil may be contaminated or hide dangerous material.
  • You could disturb the site, where there may be evidence to assist in the investigation.

If you see anyone fly-tipping waste, take details of their vehicle, including its registration. Be discreet - remember that fly-tippers are doing something illegal and so they are unlikely to welcome people observing them or taking notes or photographs.

Before you arrange to dispose of the fly-tipped waste from your land, check with your local council or your environmental regulator that they have all the evidence they need for any investigation.

Tips for preventing fly-tipping

  • Work out why your land is being targeted. You can then make your property less vulnerable.
  • Install gates and barriers to prevent access. These can be in keeping with the natural environment, eg boulders. Make sure that you do not block a public right of way.
  • Close gates when not in use and lock them if possible.
  • Improve visibility so that fly-tippers are not hidden from view. Clear small areas of land or landscaping to reduce hidden corners.
  • Install or improve lighting.

Further information

In this guide