Talking Rubbish: Fly-tipping

March 16, 2020

Why fly-tipping is everyone's problem

There's nothing worse than driving through the countryside or visiting the local park for a walk in the fresh air, and seeing piles of illegally dumped rubbish in fields, at the roadside or in the park. Yet we've all seen it, driven passed it, read about and commented on it.

But have you ever stopped to consider the wider implications of fly-tipping?

Do you understand the legal implications of waste removal?

Or, because you know it's not your rubbish or on your land, are you not too bothered?

After all, you don't have to remove it so, whilst it's unsightly, there's no impact on your life... or is there?

The facts

Firstly, let's be very clear about one thing, if you pay a private contractor to remove waste from your domestic or business premises, the responsibility sits with you to ensure it's done properly and legally. That means you should always check where it's going and that you have employed someone who has the correct licences to dispose of your waste.

Don't be mistaken that, because you're paying for a job to be done, it ceases to be your problem once it's gone from your property.

Another obvious way it effects each and every one of us is that, when waste is fly-tipped in public spaces the clean-up cost falls to the appropriate local authority. Which in turn means council tax and business rates are used to foot the bill. In fact, according to the Local Government Authority, fly-tipping costs councils £58 million per year to clear up. Imagine what else could be done with that money!

Always ask to see the waste carrier license if you pay someone to take rubbish away and ask them what they are going to do with the waste. It's probably also a good idea to take a photo of the license on your phone so that you have a record in case it's needed in the future.

Don't learn the hard way

A few years ago, a potential client asked us to price for some rubbish to be removed. The waste included some very distinctive childrens' play equipment. Unfortunately the householder decided not to accept the quote. A few days later a post appeared on our local neighbourhood facebook page.

Surprise surprise, the rubbish had been found dumped in a lane nearby!  

Rubbish removal done right

It's important to remember that removing waste comes at a price. A reputable firm will have a waste carriers licence that is issued by the Environment Agency.

The licence is valid for three years and costs around £200. This means the company is then able to use private waste tipping facilities (not local authority run Household Waste & Recycling Centres) where they must pay to tip your waste. The cost of disposing of your waste depends what the it contains.

For example, a mixed load might include some bricks or general rubble, garden waste and maybe some broken plastic garden furniture or similar. At the time of writing, that would cost in the region of £175 per cubic tonne with a minimum requirement of one tonne to be tipped.

Then you have to consider the operating costs of waste removal and disposal. Staff, vehicles, fuel, administration - you get the idea.

So, if someone is offering to clear your garden or household waste for a 'bargain' price, you should probably hear alarm bells. And you should definitely think twice before you hand over your hard-earned cash!

The cost of choosing a cheap contractor

You might think that your rubbish won't be traced back to you, but I wouldn't be so sure! I'm certain, wherever you are in the country, you'll be able to find stories like this one about a prosecution in our local area.

In 2018/19 local authorities took action in respect of 500,000 cases. With the maximum penalty being a fine of £50,000 or a five year prison sentence, if it worth the risk?

Of course the alternative is that you bag the waste and take it to the tip yourself. But just stop for a moment and consider the practicalities of that. Loading and unloading heavy, awkward or dirty waste probably isn't what you had in mind for your family car and you usually aren't able to use commercial vehicles to dispose of waste at household waste and recycling centres.

That's without any consideration for the time you'll spend making those trips, cleaning the car and easing the aches and pains away in the bath once you're done!

Simple four-step waste disposal service

Our simple, four-step process to removing household, office or garden waste couldn't be simpler. Simply snap it and send it. We'll send you a quote and once you accept that, we'll collect it.

We are more than happy to show you our relevent licences and talk you through what happens when we remove your rubbish.

For more details, contact or call 023 8063 2600.