The risk of fly-tipping and why it's a growing problem in the UK

Fly-tipping has become a serious problem in the UK. For those who are not familiar with the term, "fly-tipping" is the act of dumping waste in areas that are not authorized to accept waste.

This waste can range from regular household waste to organic waste, appliances, tires and even cars or builders' rubble. Items of such nature are often left by the side of the road, in fields and in rivers.


Many of the items that are being disposed of illegally are hazardous and/or toxic, causing pollution of the environment, posing health hazards to humans and harming farm animals and wildlife.

Why do people fly-tip?

It is believed that tax on landfill led to the practice. People fly-tip to avoid paying the levy. For households, the tax is included in the council tax bill. Business owners are required to have a contract with a registered waste removal company. Fly-tipping, however, undermines legal waste management companies because illegal companies undercut them.

Private property owners and farmers see fly-tipping as a big problem as well. They are required to remove rubbish dumped on their land by others at their own cost and ensure that illegal dumping does not occur again. The clean-up of illegally dumped waste is expensive. It is costing authorities an estimated £100 million in total each year.

Consider the right way of disposing of waste

Fly-tipping is considered a serious offence for which a person can be arrested and prosecuted. If convicted of the crime, the offender may be required to pay all costs that are associated with the enforcement and investigation of the case.

All vehicles involved in carrying out the illegal operation may be seized and the cost of clean-up of the materials disposed of will also have to be paid by the offender. This cost is much higher than the tax one has to pay for legal waste removal.

The court may also make an order that deprives a person of his rights to a vehicle and its contents if the offence was carried out in the vehicle in question and the court is satisfied that is the case.

If you are now wondering whether you are going to be arrested for throwing a food wrapper out of your car window, no, that is not the case. Although, in an effort to keep the UK tidy, please do not litter, but definitely do not get involved in fly-tipping.