About Fly-tipping

Key Statistics

Top five most frequently fly-tipped items: Household rubbish, White good such as fridges and freezers, Construction, Demolition and home improvement rubbish, Garden rubbish, Rubbish from businesses


Do you know the difference between littering and fly-tipping?

Why is fly-tipping a problem and what is being done about it?

Fly-tipping is the illegal dumping of waste. It can vary in scale significantly from a bin bag of rubbish to large quantities of waste dumped from trucks. Fly-tipped waste may be found anywhere, such as roadsides, in lay-bys or on private land.

A wide variety of wastes are fly-tipped. These include rubbish, large domestic items, such as fridges and mattresses, garden refuse, tyres and clinical waste. Large amounts of waste from construction, demolition and excavation activities are sometimes dumped. A quarter of illegal dumping incidents dealt with by the Environment Agency in 2002 involved this type of waste.

Fly-tipping is a problem because:

  • It is estimated to cost £100-£150 million every year to investigate and clear up. The cost falls on taxpayers and private landowners
  • Fly-tipping poses a threat to humans and wildlife, damages our environment, and spoils our enjoyment of our towns and countryside
  • Fly-tipping undermines legitimate waste businesses where illegal operators undercut those operating within the law. At the same time, the reputation of legal operators is undermined by rogue traders
  • As with other things that affect local environment quality, areas subject to repeated fly-tipping may suffer declining property prices and local businesses may suffer as people stay away