Environmental guidance for your business in Northern Ireland & Scotland

Fly tipping: illegal dumping of waste

Fly-tipping: illegally dumping waste.

People convicted of fly-tipping offences can:

  • receive substantial fines
  • prison sentences of up to five years
  • be made to pay the costs of enforcement, investigation and clean-up
  • be made to give up any vehicles used to carry out fly-tipping.

What you must do

You are responsible for the disposal of any material that is fly-tipped on your land. You have a legal duty of care to ensure that the waste is disposed of or recycled at an authorised facility.

Duty of care - your waste responsibilities

If you arrange for the waste to be removed, you must check that the person who removes the fly-tipped waste is a registered waste carrier.

You must complete a waste transfer note before you pass your waste on to someone else, or a consignment note if the waste is hazardous/special waste. You and the waste carrier must both sign the note.

Hazardous/special waste

Good practice

If you discover fly-tipped material on your land you should contact your local council or your environmental regulator.

Contact your environmental regulator

Contact your local council

Before you touch the waste, make sure it's safe to do so. Be extremely careful as some wastes can be hazardous. Do not open bags or drums. Piles of soil may be contaminated or hide dangerous material.

Remember that fly-tippers are doing something illegal - they are unlikely to welcome people observing them or taking notes or photographs.

If you see anyone fly-tipping waste, take details of their vehicle, including its registration.

Before you arrange to dispose of the waste, check with your local council or your environmental regulator that they have all the evidence they need for any investigation.

In Scotland you can report fly-tipping on the Dumb Dumpers website.

Scotland: Dumb Dumpers

Or report it by phone on the Dumb Dumpers stop line: 0845 2 30 40 90

Tips for preventing fly-tipping

Work out why your land is being targeted. You can then make your property less vulnerable.

Install gates and barriers to prevent access. These can be in keeping with the natural environment, eg boulders. Make sure that you do not block a public right of way.

Close gates when not in use and lock them if possible.

Improve visibility so that fly-tippers are not hidden from view. Clear small areas of land or landscaping to reduce hidden corners.

Install or improve lighting.

Further information

Scotland: Fly-tipping

nidirect: Fly tipping - what you can do

SEE ALSO: Duty of Care for Waste

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