Fly-tipping is one of the scourges of modern society. It’s the unauthorised dumping of waste on land and could be anything from a black bag to a tipper load.

Data released by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs, showed that there were over seven thousand fly-tipping incidents in the Peterborough area from April 2017 to March 2018. One of the highest in England.

It’s the city council’s responsibility to remove fly-tipping on highways and public land and it costs the local authority over £200,000 per year collecting and disposing of it. Fly-tipping on private land is the landowner’s responsibility.

How to report fly-tipping:

Penalties for fly-tipping

Fly-tipping is a criminal offence punishable by a fine of up to £50,000 or 12 months imprisonment if convicted in a Magistrates’ Court. The offence can attract an unlimited fine and up to five years imprisonment if convicted in a Crown Court. There are also a number of other possible penalties, including fixed penalty notices and having a vehicle seized.

Some recent fly-tipping prosecutions that hit the news:

You are responsible for your waste

If someone else disposes of your rubbish make sure they have a waste licence and make sure you retain a copy of their name, address, vehicle description, vehicle registration number and get a receipt.

From January 2019 any householder who fails to pass their waste to a licensed carrier, and whose waste is found fly-tipped, could face penalties of up to £400. If you are in any doubt as to whether someone is licensed, the Environment Agency has an online checker.


Everyone has a legal ‘duty of care’ to ensure their household or business waste is disposed of correctly.

Your duty of care

What to do if you see someone fly-tipping

If you see someone fly-tipping, first of all, do not put yourself at any risk. Only if safe to do so, try and obtain as much information as possible.

  • Record the date, time and location of the incident.
  • If any vehicles are involved, note down the make, model, colour and any registration number. (Photos are useful but don’t take any risks). Also if possible how many people were involved and what they looked like.
  • Details of the amount and what was being fly-tipped. Just a visual look, do not go touch the rubbish as you may be exposed to dangerous/hazardous materials.

Report the fly-tipping at: You can ask for a notification on the action that was taken.

Task and Finish group to examine the issue of fly-tipping

In 2018 the Peterborough City council put together a Task and Finish group which included an Eye, Thorney and Newborough Ward councillor to examine the issue of Fly Tipping.

The Task and Finish Group made the following recommendations:


Waste Collection and Facilitation

Short Term Action
  • Improve digital access to Household Recycling Centre (HRC) permit applications to speed up the process of obtaining one, and simplify their use on site.


Education and Prevention

Short Term Action
  • Development of a Communications and Engagement Action Plan taking into account different types of fly-tipping across rural and urban settings and different people’s needs – tailored engagement considering different groups needs across the city as required
  • Join the Keep Britain Tidy campaign – circa £2,000 per annum, making use of the networking and learning opportunities and look at adapting the available resources to the needs of Peterborough in a communications campaign, circa £5,000 pa.
  • Employ the use of ‘crime scene’ style barrier tape around fly-tipping incidents to highlight that we are aware and action is being taken. Estimate £2,000 to supply an initial supply of rolls to be replaced as required dependant on use.
  • Improve information to small businesses, through contact with the Federation for Small Businesses, Trade Counters etc., look for external sources of funding to cover costs. Website hosting information on fly-tipping and options for safe and legitimate waste management routes, possibly funded by sponsorship
  • Use of social media for engagement on a regular light-touch basis so messages remain current in people’s minds, e.g. sponsored Facebook Messages, advertisements explaining about need to check carrier licences Duty of Care etc.
  • Examine the capacity for nominated officers to monitor Facebook for people seeking waste collection services to comment and highlight responsibilities and routes for legitimate waste collection or disposal.
  • Link with Integration Strategy – vox pops to cover waste
  • Local media campaign to link with the new duty of care of legislation.


Enforcement and detection

Short Term Action
  • 6 x infrared cameras to provide coverage in each area £6000
  • Review the current process of enforcement to seek improvements to its effectiveness aiming to move to a one visit resolution where possible.
  • Publicise successful convictions as part of a wider information dissemination exercise.


Waste Collection and Facilitation

Medium/Long Term Action
  • Examine longer site opening times for the new site and how trailer access may be improved over that available at the Dogsthorpe site.
  • Examine feasibility one or more satellite HRC sites to assist in busy times of the year, not necessarily for the whole range of materials, e.g. garden waste and recycling only.
  • Improve access to the bulky waste collection system. Consider alterations to existing pricing policy to reduce barriers to those on limited incomes, e.g. specified benefits or a method of allowing Councillors to access the service in identified cases of need.
  • Consider a new trade/business waste collection service for commercial producers to pay different amounts by weight, wheelie bin, jumbo bags for small businesses working from home or other fixed location.
  • Cost a Council supported commercial waste disposal and recycling centre for small businesses working from home/landlords and mobile small traders to improve alternatives from illegal use of the HRC/Fly Tipping, at a competitive price and service level.
  • Examine the introduction of discrete bins or drop off points for street cleaning or litter picking wastes so as to reduce the risk of bags left awaiting collection being added to with fly tipped materials.


Education and Prevention

Medium/Long Term Action
  • Link with the Your Peterborough magazine which goes out with the council tax booklet, information for landlords/tenants
  • Education pack which teachers could deliver
  • Education plan for councillors part of the engagement plan
  • After tape is placed around an event of fly-tipping, leave for 48 hours before clearing (unless hazardous)


Enforcement and detection

Medium/Long Term Action
  • Joint crime prevention/enforcement strategy with partners and neighbouring local authorities (sharing best practice)
  • Shared case management system for partner organisations
  • Working more closely with the LATCo to have a one visit resolution
  • Adopt the duty of care if this is passed by the government.