The true extent of fly-tipping on private land is not known, but it is estimated that fly-tipping on private land costs the taxpayer between £50m and £150 million to clear up every year. But what are landowners responsibilities for fly-tipping?
Landowners Responsibilities For Fly-Tipping
Land managers, owners and occupiers of private property are responsible for clearing up and disposing of any fly-tipped waste that they find on their land. Although Local Councils will not clear away waste dumped on private land for free, they may be able to investigate incidents. In the event of a successful prosecution being brought, the local Council can apply for a Court order to repay the landowner’s clean-up costs.
The Environment Agency investigate major incidents – those with a greater potential to cause damage or the environment or harm human health. This is often larger scale fly-tipping incidents involving more than a lorry load of waste, incidents where hazardous waste is involved, and organised criminality.
There are some simple steps that landowners and land managers can take to prevent or discourage fly-tipping on their private land. These include:
- Physical improvements. This could include the installation of gates and barriers or natural barriers like tree trunks and boulders. It can also help if there is improved visibility from the roadside as fly-tippers do not like to be seen while breaking the law;
- Better site management – this means keeping areas tidy and removing any fly-tipped waste quickly in order to discourage others from adding to it;
- Deterrence –as well as successful prosecutions, signage, security patrols and CCTV can all help;
- Working with others – local businesses, neighbours and existing partnerships can work together.
Regardless of if the land is public or private if you find fly-tipped waste you should immediately report it.
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