Dumping items, whether a single bag or a truck load of rubbish, is a criminal offence. It is 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 river or canal?
Call the Environment Agency on 03708 506 506.
Please report all fly-tipping to us, 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 to see if there is evidence of where the rubbish came from and who was responsible for dumping it.
Following any investigation we aim to remove all items on Council-managed land within seven working days. This may not always possible due to the nature, location or size of the incident and the equipment required to remove it.
We will 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 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 professional waste carrier should be happy to answer reasonable questions.
- Check their waste carrier’s registration details on the Environment Agency website. Note down the registration number of the vehicle used to take your waste away.
- Refuse unexpected offers to take your rubbish away. Report anyone you suspect of disposing of waste illegally to the Environment Agency. Give them the vehicle registration and name of the person. .
- Ask what is going to happen to your rubbish. Seek evidence that it is going to be disposed of appropriately.
- Paperwork. 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.
What else can I do with my unwanted items?
Sell or donate functioning items to a charity shop or through online marketplaces or social media community groups.
You can also dispose of your waste:
- using your bins
- at a neighbourhood recycling site or Recycling Centre
- through our bulky items 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
- Government advice on disposing of business or commercial waste
- Right Waste, Right Place
- National Fly-Tipping Prevention Group
For more detailed information, please visit Hertfordshire Waste Partnership's WasteAware website.