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Report fly-tipping

Do you know who's taking your waste away?

Fly-tipping is the illegal dumping of waste on land not licensed to receive it. It can range from a black bag of household rubbish to multiple lorry loads of building waste. If you (or your waste carrier) are caught fly-tipping, you can be issued with a £400 fixed penalty notice.

Every householder, business and landowner is responsible for the proper removal of waste from their property. This includes waste removed by any trader or contractor on your behalf. If you're having work done in your home, office or garden you should budget for responsible waste disposal, and check that your contractor is a registered waste carrier and will dispose of the waste properly.

If you are a householder, you can dispose of 10 bags of inert waste each calendar year by applying for a free permit from Lancashire County Council.

Reporting a fly-tip

Clearing fly-tips

We can only clear up fly-tips on public or council-owned land. 

Clearing fly-tipping from private land is the responsibility of the landowner. If you are responsible for land or are a private landowner, you must ensure that your land is as secure as is practically possible. Penalties for fly-tipping will apply if you allow someone to fly-tip on your land.

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Operation Peregrine: Targeting fly-tippers and their vehicles

Prosecutions and legal action

Dumping waste illegally is a serious criminal offence. It carries a fine of up to £50,000 (unlimited if the case goes to crown court) and a prison sentence of up to five years.

There can also be offences committed by others before the fly-tip, such as permitting the fly-tip or causing the fly-tip, and the sanctions are the same as actually doing the fly-tipping. And if a vehicle is involved, there are offences relating to the controller of the vehicle.

  • Anyone giving permission for fly-tipping to occur on land they control will be open to investigation and prosecution
  • Anyone giving waste to another person for disposal without checking (a) whether that person is authorised to carry waste and (b) where the waste is going and the waste is subsequently fly-tipped, will be open to investigation and prosecution for causing the fly-tipping
  • Fly-tipping is often associated with dumping waste from vehicles. In this case the person controlling the use of the vehicle, normally the registered keeper, can also be prosecuted. This means that it is possible for a prosecution to occur when only the vehicle, not the driver, is identifiable

Vehicle seizures and fly-tipping

Reports of vehicles used for fly-tipping are investigated by our environmental enforcement officers. We aim to trace and prosecute the registered owner of all vehicles involved in this act. The police and our environmental enforcement officers have the power to seize, impound and crush any vehicle used for fly-tipping. Both the driver and the owner of the vehicle can be prosecuted for the offence.

If your vehicle has been seized and you wish to claim it back, you will need to provide documentation as listed on our vehicle seizure notices page. Your vehicle can be disposed of within 15 days of its seizure if you do not make a claim for it.

Help prevent fly-tipping

Did you know that you can be issued a £400 fixed penalty notice, or fined up to £5,000 if your bulky household waste is fly-tipped by an illegitimate waste removal service?

If evidence can be found amongst any fly-tipped waste by our enforcement team which traces the waste back to its owner, it could mean that the householder or business can be prosecuted for failing to make sufficient checks as to the legitimacy of the disposal service they are using as well as the cost incurred by the council to clear it up.

If you’re looking to have waste removed from your property or business, a legitimate waste carrier will always:

  • Be registered with the Environment Agency
  • Have a waste carrier licence which can be verified on the Environment Agency website
  • Provide a waste transfer note for removal of any waste on request (eg following building or garden work)
  • Provide details of the site license where the waste is to be disposed
  • Be able to provide proof of where it was taken in the form of an official weight ticket which will identify the disposal site

How you can help

Last updated: 23 February 2024

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