Dumping items illegally, whether a single bag or a truck load of rubbish, is a criminal offence punishable by an unlimited fine or imprisonment.
Not only is it harmful to people's health and the environment, but it also costs taxpayers in Hertfordshire around £820,000 a year to clear up.
Items and bags left beside street bins, recycling banks, on the floor of communal bin areas, outside closed Recycling Centres and charity shops are all illegal fly-tipping. If the bins and banks are full, or the shop is closed, you should take your items away with you.
Litter is typically rubbish that has been left behind after being used - find out more on our litter page.
Is it happening right now?
Call the police immediately on 999 and report it as a crime in progress. Do not approach the person dumping the rubbish. Take note of as many details as possible, as outlined below.
Has it blocked the road?
Report it to Herts County Council or call 0300 123 4047.
Does it look like the fly-tipping might cause an immediate pollution risk to a watercourse (for example, a river or canal)?
Call the Environment Agency on 03708 506 506.
All fly-tipping should be reported to Dacorum Borough Council, regardless of whether you saw it in progress or have just discovered it.
Please fill out our online form:
What to report
If you witness someone fly-tipping, or discover fly-tipped waste, please note down as many details as possible, such as:
- date and time
- type of waste and how much there is
- description of the person/people dumping the waste
- details of the fly-tipper’s vehicle
- whether the fly-tipping has caused any damage
- include photos of the waste and fly-tippers (if possible and safe to do so). But never put yourself at risk when reporting fly-tipping.
How we deal with fly-tipping
We aim to visit every reported incident of fly-tipping if there is a possibility there may be evidence that could support an investigation into where the rubbish came from and who was responsible for dumping it.
Following the conclusion of any investigation we aim to remove all items on council-managed land within seven working days. This is not always possible due to the nature, location or size of the incident and the equipment required to remove it.
We will work to issue Fixed Penalty Notices where possible, or collect evidence for a larger prosecution if necessary.
Let's SCRAP fly-tipping
We're working as part of the Hertfordshire Fly Tipping Group to ask all of our residents to SCRAP fly-tipping.
The best way to stop organised fly-tipping is to make sure that only authorised waste carriers take your waste away. You could face prosecution and an unlimited fine if your waste is fly-tipped by someone else. Avoid a fine by following the SCRAP code:
- Suspect all waste carriers. Do not let them take your waste until they can prove they are legitimate - a waste carriers' certificate and licence looks like this: Waste carriers' licence example (PDF 240KB). A professional waste carrier should happily answer reasonable questions.
- Check their waste carrier’s registration details on the Environment Agency website or by calling 03708 506 506. Note down the registration number of the vehicle used to take your waste away.
- Refuse unexpected offers to take your rubbish away. If you suspect someone is disposing of waste illegally, report their vehicle registration and name to the Environment Agency.
- Ask what is going to happen to your rubbish and seek evidence that it is going to be disposed of appropriately.
- Paperwork should be obtained. Make sure you get a proper invoice, waste transfer note or receipt for your waste removal – this should give a description of the waste and provide the waste carrier’s contact details.
More information about fly-tipping can be found in our Fly Tipping householders leaflet (PDF 3 MB).
What else can I do with my unwanted items?
You can sell or donate functioning items to a charity shop or through reuse networks and marketplaces, such as eBay, Freecycle, Gumtree or social media community groups.
You can dispose of your waste at the kerbside, a neighbourhood recycling site or Recycling Centre, or through our Bulky Waste Collection service.
Is your business disposing of its waste correctly?
Every business that produces waste in the UK has a legal duty of care to:
- manage it properly until it's recycled or disposed of
- always use a registered waste carrier or register to carry your own waste
- keep the correct paperwork for at least two years.
Find out about our commercial waste collection and recycling service.
Get help complying with the law
For more detailed information - including advice for private landowners and businesses - please visit Hertfordshire Waste Partnership's WasteAware website.