What to Do If Someone Dumps Rubbish on Your Property

Discovering rubbish dumped on your private property can evoke an immediate surge of anger and frustration. Not only is someone invading your personal space, but their rubbish is now your responsibility to tidy up. However, once the initial wave of emotion recedes, you need to take proactive steps to stop it from happening again.

This blog explores actionable strategies for addressing the unwelcome scenario of someone dumping rubbish on your property.

What To Do First

First and foremost, reporting the incident to your local council is crucial. Hence, swift reporting to the relevant authorities, including the local council, becomes imperative. This act not only initiates cleanup procedures but also contributes to preventing future occurrences. They are likely to advise you to contact the Environment Agency, more on that later.

Unfortunately, the responsibility for clearing dumped rubbish on private property often falls on the property owner. As the property owner, you need to dispose of the waste correctly, or you could be subject to a £200 fine.

If you happen to see the fly-tipping in person, do not confront the perpetrators. Call the police immediately. Your safety should be your top priority and confrontation may lead to you being attacked. The fly-tippers know what they are doing is illegal so may take drastic actions. If possible, safely and discreetly record the action and try to get identifying information, such as number plates or distinguishing marks.

Engaging Authorities

It is essential to inform the Environment Agency about fly-tipping or illegal waste dumping. Particularly if the dumped materials pose hazards or exhibit links to organised crime, the Environment Agency undertakes investigations. In England, fly-tipping constitutes a criminal offence, subjecting perpetrators to fines, prosecution, and potential imprisonment.

To contact the correct department in the Environment Agency call the incident hotline at:

0800 80 70 60

Detail the Incident

Providing comprehensive details about the incident to help with the investigation, such as:

  • The type and volume of waste
  • Its location
  • Any identifiable information about:
    • the culprits or;
    • vehicles involved.

Meticulously photographing the dumped rubbish from various angles will assist investigators. Additionally, maintaining detailed records of incidents strengthens your case and aids in identifying recurring patterns.

Detailing the incident is likely to mostly fall on the property owner. Investigators will use this information to link to any other incidences of fly-tipping in the area to discover the culprits and build a case against them.

Prevention of Future Dumping

The most effective way to prevent people from dumping rubbish on your property is to send them to jail. In this way, gathering evidence will help build a case and allow the legal system to work.

Installing CCTV cameras on your property serves as a potent measure to capture evidence and provide a deterrent for fly-tippers. If the people dumping rubbish see that you have increased security on your property, they are likely to move their operation to an easier target.

As fly-tipping is most common in rural areas it can be difficult to install CCTV, therefore, the best prevention is to install gates, or block access to areas fly-tippers want to use. It is illegal to block public rights of way, however, hay bales or tree stumps can block vehicle access without blocking pedestrian access.

Legal Recourse

In cases involving hazardous waste or indications of organised crime, involving law enforcement is imperative. Pursuing legal action against fly-tippers is within your rights as a landowner under the Environmental Protection Act 1990 or the Highways Act 1980. This can encompass various avenues such as civil litigation (and compensation) under pertinent legislation or criminal prosecution if the offence warrants.

Cleaning Up the Rubbish

Once the incident has been documented and reported, the need for cleanup arises. You need to use a registered waste carrier to dispose of the waste. If the waste is hazardous you will need a specialist waste disposal company. As previously mentioned, you will need to pay the costs associated with the waste disposal, but if the fly-tippers are caught and prosecuted you can claim the costs back from them.

If you are subject to someone dumping rubbish on your property and need to dispose of it quickly and at a low cost, hiring a skip may suit your needs. Cheap skip hire in Essex, Hertfordshire and East London is what RJ Waste do.

We even do same-day skip hire, or wait and load, if you want the unfortunate incident of fly-tipping over and done with quickly. However, if there is hazardous waste we will need prior notice to put the relevant precautions in place.

Alternatively, we have tipper & grab lorries for hire so our driver can turn up, grab the waste and remove it from your property at a time that suits you.

Speak to our customer service team and find out if we can help you.