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What Happens If I’m Caught Fly-Tipping or Littering?

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What Happens If I’m Caught Fly-Tipping or Littering?

No one likes rubbish. It’s unsightly, smells unpleasant and can be a real pain to get rid of. With this in mind, some people opt to fly-tip their rubbish, with mattresses, electrical items and general waste often dumped on the side of roads or even in local beauty spots. 

In the last year, fly-tipping and littering has cost local authorities in Britain more than £10.9 million as the country attempts to cope with the dirty habit. As well as the financial impact of fly-tipping, it can also cause harm to the environment, and even the public, as often the materials that are dumped include hazardous, harmful and sometimes toxic properties.

In this article, we’ll outline what will happen if you’re caught fly-tipping or littering and provide information on the right ways to dispose of various types of waste.    

Fly Tipping in a field

What Are The Consequences of Fly Tipping?

Most of us have driven down a country road and come across a big load of rubbish dumped on the side. Officially, fly-tipping is defined as the ‘illegal deposit of waste onto land that does not have a licence to accept it.’ 

As well as the aforementioned furniture, electrical appliances and general waste, truckloads of construction and building waste are also often dumped on roadsides or in fields. 

Fly-tipping is a criminal offence, and if you’re caught doing it you could be prosecuted, faced with an unlimited fine or even receive a five-year prison sentence.  

What Are The Consequences of Littering?

While not as severe as fly-tipping, littering is still a major issue in the UK with the problem increasing by more than 500% since the 1960s. Plus, almost half of Brits admit to littering, which gives you an idea of the scale of the problem. 

Anyone who is caught littering could be fined, with local councils deciding on the amount. Usually, this is around £75, but could be up to £150 depending on the specifics of the case. Typically, people are given the chance to clear up their litter rather than being issued the fine, but this is at the discretion of the council’s warden.     

How To Discard of Different Waste Products

Not knowing what to do with your waste is not an excuse to fly-tip. All waste products need to be appropriately discarded. Some of your waste that you may be unsure how to dispose of includes:

  • Furniture – While they’re by no means obliged to help, many local councils will take unwanted furniture such as beds, sofas and the like off your hands


  • Electrical items and white goods – Sometimes shops will take old items like fridges or washing machines off your hands when they deliver your new one. If not, you can take them to a local recycling centre or contact your council as they may be willing to help


  • Garden waste – Some people think that garden waste doesn’t count as fly-tipping, but it does. Most councils provide separate garden bins for this kind of waste, but nearby garden centres will usually be happy to take it for their compost heaps


  • Commercial waste – If you own a business that produces a lot of commercial waste, you need to have a specialist waste contract in place that will come to your premises, remove the waste and dispose of it appropriately


Skips are another great way to dispose of waste. Covering Hertfordshire, Essex and North London, we offer competitive prices on skips in all the areas we cover. With a skip, you can dispose of a whole host of waste products including wood, tiles, plaster, furniture, paper, clothes, garden waste, bricks, metal, concrete and stones. For more information on our variety of services, get in touch with our friendly team today. 


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