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The Illegal Dumping of Waste

Black bags, garden clippings, old beds and builder’s rubble have all been fly-tipped at one time or another. Once waste has been illegally dumped, it often attracts further tipping, thus adding to an environmental problem that is not only unsightly but can also be harmful.

Unless the person responsible for illegally dumping the waste can be traced, the cost of clearing up fly-tips is borne by the Council taxpayer.

The Environmental Protection Act 1990 states that everyone must, by law, take reasonable steps to ensure that controlled waste is disposed of properly, either by themselves or their contractor.

What should I do with my waste?

To protect both the environment and the public, waste needs to be disposed of in a safe and controlled manor at properly licensed sites. It must also be suitably packed so that it does not fall out or blow away in transit and cannot be spread about by animals or vandals.

If you have waste, which is either unsuitable to put in your black bag, then you can take it for free to Recycling Centre for Household Waste, Canvey Road, Canvey Island.

What happens if I hand my waste on to someone else?

If someone offers to take your waste away, ask how they intend to dispose of it. Make sure that the organisation is either a local authority or a licensed waste removal company by asking them to produce their Waste Removal Licence or certificate. You are responsible for making sure that your waste is disposed of properly and must ask to see proof of this registration.

Secondly, you must give a written description of your waste to the person who removes it. This should show the quantity and type of materials in the waste. A simple description of what is in the waste or the activity which produced it will normally be sufficient.

However, any unexpected or unusual additions to the waste must be notified to the waste remover so that he can dispose of it in an appropriate way.

These steps are not necessary for the disposal of domestic refuse collected by the Council.

What about hazardous waste?

If you produce waste, which may be hazardous for example, chemicals, drugs or animal by-products, you must ensure that the person removing the waste is aware of the potential risks and can dispose of your waste properly.

Occupiers of domestic properties dumping household waste they have produced can be fined up to £2,500 or imprisoned for a term not exceeding three months.

The Police also have the powers to seize vehicles used for flytipping.

If you discover flytipped waste:

  • Do not touch the waste; flytipped waste can be dangerous - it may contain syringes, broken glass, asbestos, toxic chemicals or other hazardous substances.
  • Visually inspect the waste: try to determine what the waste consists of and how much there is.
  • Take note of its exact location: and also, whether it is in or near water.
  • Do not disturb the site: there may be evidence that could help identify the culprits and lead to their prosecution.

If You See Someone Flytipping:

If possible, please make a note of:

  • The day, date and time you saw the tipping.

What you saw:

  • How many people were flytipping and what they looked like
  • What they were actually doing
  • Any vehicles involved - their make, colour and registration number

Where were you when you saw the flytipping:

  • What kind of view you had
  • How far away you were
  • Weather and light conditions

What was tipped:

  • How much?
  • What it looked like