Reporting Fly-Tipping

Fly tipping is the unauthorised dumping of solid or liquid waste on land or in water. It can be anything from a bag of rubbish or garden waste to lorry loads of building waste or the hastily dumped contents of an entire cannabis factory.

It is a national problem:

Summary screen of reports to ClearWaste on 10 July 2023 – NB this is only the incidents reported via Clear Waste – the actual totals will be multiple times greater !!!!!

I’ll start with a disclaimer that this is ‘only the process i use’ ….. but having used it a lot – and having seen the waste i reported being subsequently removed – it ‘works for me’.

There are other ways but in my experience the portals for the relevant District and County councils are clunky and time consuming.

So, first of all you need the Clear Waste app on your phone ….. and please do read the ‘about us’ bit on the app to see where the company is coming from. You do also (obviously) need your phone + ideally a camera on it + enabled location services for the app (so it can geo locate the waste).

Above – the app looks like this and is fairly intuitive to fill in. Occasionally it will cache if you don’t have strong 3g or 4g or wifi. In that case still take the photo and make a note of the location and fill the form in when the signal improves.

The app once you’ve filled in the details …. NB – you can do this anonymously !!

Another screen on the app allows you to view – and you can toggle the duration – where the recent fly tipping incidents near you have been reported ….. the picture below shows the reporte sites in the last 30 days near me.

Summary / Tips

• Please do report it even if you suspect it has been there a few days and ‘someone else has probably reported it’ … they may not have OR their report might have gone to a database that only gets checked occasionally due to staffing / funding issues etc.

• The app is the easiest way i have found – with a decent phone signal it takes <2mins to submit a report

• Be anonymous if you want. Be safe. I’d advise against confronting fly-tippers …. but do gather pics and video if possible from a position of safety.

• My experience with searching the waste for ‘clues’ is that you don’t know how it got there eg i ‘outed’ a person once as their address was in the waste and they got in touch to say they had paid a ‘reputable’ eg accredited waste remover to do a house clearance (in Merseyside) … and it transpired that that waste remover had then paid people to remove the waste (it was tipped in the Porter Valley in Sheffield !!). Leave the detective work to the council and police. Also, you never know what is actually in or on the waste in terms of chemicals etc.

• Leave cannabis factory waste well alone. Report it via the app – but beware the chemicals used in the process are hazardous.

Sadly the scourge of fly tipping doesn’t seem to be reducing. On 2 July 2023 the Government announced an increase in the maximum fine for those caught fly tipping from £400 to £1000. A paltry amount in my opinion.

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