Fly tipping is the illegal dumping of household, industrial, commercial or other controlled liquid or solid waste on land or water.

Thousands of people are contributing to the fly tipping problem in the UK and have no idea they are doing anything wrong. Fly tips come from a number of sources including domestic rubbish bags and household goods, trade businesses tipping waste, and large professional fly tippers carrying up to 40 tonnes or more of hard core waste.

With that said most of us think that can’t apply to me. “I organised someone to come to my house and pick up my two mattresses, old sofa and black bin liners. They seemed legit, friendly and assured me that they were dumping them correctly. I paid them cash and they seemed good value for money.”

The consequences

Did you know it is your responsibility to check that your waste is disposed of correctly? Just because you didn’t dump it doesn’t mean to say you are not liable. Giving your rubbish to a ‘man with a van’ who offers to get rid of it cheaply could end up costing you dearly.  If caught fly tipping and found guilty carries a maximum fine of £50,000 and up to 5 years in prison. (12 months imprisonment if convicted in a Magistrates Court.)


Businesses are liable too.

Your paperwork, office chairs, desks all need to be disposed of correctly. We came across a medium sized business who had been heavily fined recently.  They thought they had used a legitimate provider. His quote was a lot cheaper than the rest, but they hadn’t carried out the necessary checks. The old office equipment and paper-work had been dumped in a lay by on the side of the road.

Here is how to protect yourself and your business

Irrelevant of whether it’s domestic or business waste you can still put checks in place to ensure your waste is being disposed of correctly. By just asking a few simple questions you can protect yourself.

  • If you use a trader make sure you ask to see their waste carriers registration details. These will have been issued to them by the Environment Agency. Note their vehicle details too. You can look them up online at Environment Agency website or call them direct on 03708 506 506.
  • Ask for a receipt or note from the individual before the waste is taken away
  • Check with them where they are taking the waste too. Just because they can legally remove it, you still need to check what is happening to it.

If they are a legitimate waste carrier they won’t mind you asking these questions.


  • Make a note of who you have given your waste to, their carrier and vehicle details in case you need to prove it later.
  • Never leave your waste such as old fridges or washing machines on your drive or out on the street. Someone can take the bits they want and dump the rest. You will still be liable.

At Clarks of Amersham we are registered waste carriers and you can check our details out on the Environment Waste Carriers register here  

If you would like a quote or need more information call us on 01494 774186 or email us at