Report flytipping, and find out more about it, including what you must do to dispose of your waste legally.
Flytipping is the illegal dumping of household or trade waste and is a crime.
If you see anyone flytipping, or spot flytipped rubbish, please report flytipping online. If this is blocking a road or in a dangerous place, contact the police on 999 or 101.
Information we need
We need to know where the flytipping has taken place. If you witness the flytipping (and it is safe to do so), take a note of:
- the vehicle make, model, colour and registration number
- what was dumped
- a description of the flytippers.
Do not look for clues in the waste yourself, as there may be harmful items in it.
The free What3Words app is a useful tool in helping us to accurately locate dumped waste. Three unique words are assigned to each three metre squared location. The app can be downloaded for both Apple and Android. Download the app and make a note of the three words assigned to the location of the flytip. You can then give us these three words when you report it- making it easier for us to find the exact location.
We aim to investigate and remove flytipped rubbish from our land and open spaces within three working days of being notified, when it's practical to do so.
If we find sufficient evidence, we will prosecute flytippers.
Get rid of your waste responsibly - what you must do
Whether you are a householder or business, you must dispose of waste correctly. This is from the moment the waste is produced to when it's received by a business that is authorised to deal with it. We recommend the following.
- If you pay anyone to take your rubbish away, check that they are registered to do this (ask to see their waste carrier certificate). This includes builders and other tradesmen.
- If they are unable to show you this, you can find a registered waste carrier online (Gov.uk).
- Take your waste to one of our household waste recycling centres (tips) instead.
- Pay for a large item (bulky waste) collection.
- Donate items, in good condition to a re-use scheme.
- Arrange a business waste collection.
- If you use a private waste company, check they are registered - find a registered waste carrier online (Gov.uk).
- If you want to do it yourself, follow our advice about commercial or trade waste disposal.
Penalties for flytipping
If your waste is flytipped and is traced back to you, you could be taken to court and prosecuted. The maximum fine is up to £50,000. You can also be issued with a £400 on-the-spot Fixed Penalty Notice for flytipping.
We can seize, and hold for up to 15 days, any vehicle(s) used for flytipping or waste crime offences. See our Statutory Notices page for details of current vehicle seizures.
If you suspect someone of being an illegal or unregistered waste carrier, call the Crimestoppers hotline on 0800 555 111 or use the Crimestoppers: online contact form.
What we are doing to tackle flytipping in County Durham
- Issuing on-the-spot £400 Fixed Penalty Notices
- Seizing vehicles, for up to 15 working days, if they're used for flytipping or waste crime offences
- Additional CCTV cameras installed in flytipping hotspot areas.
- Improved investigation procedures and techniques to trace flytipping back to the culprit.
- Increased prosecutions through the Magistrates' Courts to deter people from dumping waste.
- Publicising flytipping prosecutions/CCTV footage via press releases and on social media to deter other people from dumping waste and/or operating as unlicensed waste carriers. See Environment news for details.
- Regular 'Stop and check' operations carried out by Neighbourhood wardens and Durham Constabulary to check waste carriers are licensed.
- Reminders to waste carriers that they must be licensed to collect, carry, transport and dispose of waste in their possession.
- Ongoing communication to trades people and businesses on how to dispose of commercial waste correctly.
- Education and engagement to advise residents about a wide range of reuse/recycling options
- Advice to members of the public to always ask to see a Waste Carrier's Licence when using a private waste company or 'man with a van' to get rid of waste
- provided to all residents in the county, advising them how to get rid of waste within the law and to report anyone suspected of being an unlicensed waste carrier.
'Operation Stop It!' flytipping campaign
We work with Durham Constabulary, the Environment Agency and Crimestoppers to reduce flytipping in County Durham. Our aim is to educate residents, trades people and businesses on their waste 'Duty of Care' in correct waste disposal and enforce against those who dump waste illegally.
In partnership with
- Durham Constabulary
- Environment Agency
- Operation Stop It
- Customer Services
- 03000 26 0000
- Recycling centres (tips)
- Book a bulky waste (large items) collection
- Reusing furniture and household items
- Commercial and trade waste services we offer
- Getting rid of commercial or trade waste legally
- Scrap metal dealers licence
- Street cleaning programme
- Neighbourhood wardens
- Pay your Fixed Penalty Notice for environmental crimes