What can you do about fly-tipping offences on your land?

Dealing with waste fly-tipped on private land is a frustrating and concerning issue. What can be done about it?

In my experience, the authorities can only offer limited support and assistance. The response can be patchy and ultimately the illegal deposit becomes the landowner’s problem.

There are measures you can take to both avoid the risk of fly-tipping and effectively deal with it if it does occur.

Take preventative measures

The first step in preventing fly-tipping is taking proactive measures to deter potential illegal fly-tippers. Here are a few tips to help you prevent this unwanted activity on your land:

  1. Secure your property: Install proper fencing, gates, or barriers around your land to make it less accessible for fly-tippers. This simple measure can serve as a deterrent and discourage opportunistic dumping.
  2. Install surveillance cameras: Installing CCTV cameras can help monitor your land and act as a deterrent to potential offenders. Ensure that the cameras cover vulnerable areas where fly-tipping is more likely to occur.
  3. Display warning signs: Clearly display signs that indicate that your land is private property and that fly-tipping is illegal. These signs serve as a reminder to potential offenders that they are being watched and can be reported.
  4. Regular inspections: Regularly inspect your land to identify any potential vulnerabilities or signs of fly-tipping. By addressing any issues promptly, you can deter illegal dumpers and prevent the further accumulation of waste.

How to respond to offences

However, even with precautionary measures in place, there is still a chance that waste may be fly-tipped on your land.

If this unfortunate event occurs, it is important to respond prudently and lawfully. Here’s what you should do:

  • Document the evidence: Take photographs or videos of the fly-tipped waste as evidence. This will be essential when reporting the incident to the relevant authorities and when discussing the matter with insurance providers or potential culprits if identified.
  • Report the incident: Contact your local council or the Environment Agency / Natural Resources Wales as soon as possible to report the fly-tipping incident. They will advise you on the next steps to take and can help in investigating and removing the waste.
  • Clear the waste safely: Depending on the quantity and type of waste, removal may require professional assistance. Contact registered waste carriers or waste removal companies to ensure the waste is disposed of lawfully and appropriately. Avoid handling hazardous waste yourself as it may require specialist treatment.
  • Keep records: Maintain a detailed record of all communication and actions taken throughout the process. This documentation will be helpful in case any legal actions or claims need to be pursued.

Remember, you are not alone in tackling the issue of fly-tipping. Local authorities and environmental agencies are actively working to address this problem and support landowners like you.

However, they may need a bit of pushing and prodding to investigate your situation. This is not through a lack of interest or empathy on their part but largely due to finite resources and the explosion of environmental offending.

Contact John Dyne for advice on how to deal with fly-tipping or related matters.