Fly-tipping

Fly-tipping is the illegal disposal of rubbish without a waste management licence. It is a criminal offence punishable by a fine of up to £50,000 or 12 months in prison, if convicted at a magistrates' court. At crown court, the fine can be unlimited and prison sentences of up to five years can be imposed.

For more detailed information - including advice for private landowners and businesses - please visit Hertfordshire County Council's website.

Report fly-tipping

Is it happening right now? Please call the police immediately on 999. Do not approach the person dumping the rubbish. Take note of as many details as possible, as outlined below.

Has it blocked the road? Please report it to Herts County Council or call them on 0300 101 4047.

Does it look like the fly-tipping might cause an immediate pollution risk to a watercourse (for example, a river or canal)? Please report it to the Environment Agency on 03708 506 506.

For all other types of fly-tipping, please fill out our online form:

Report fly-tipping

What to report if you see someone fly-tipping

If you witness someone fly-tipping, please note down as many details of the event as possible, such as:

  • the date and time that you saw the fly-tippers or discovered the rubbish
  • the exact location (a number of mobile apps can now give you the grid reference for your location)
  • details of the items dumped, such as estimated quantity or volume of waste, is it loose or bagged, is there pollution leaking from the waste
  • a detailed description of the person/people dumping the rubbish and their actions
  • details of the fly-tipper’s vehicle, such as make, model, colour, registration number and any other distinguishing features, for example a business name
  • the direction of travel before and after the event if this was observed
  • whether the fly-tipping has caused any damage - for example to fences, walls, gates, other structures or crops

How we deal with fly-tipping

We will visit every report of fly-tipping to investigate where the rubbish has come from and who was responsible for dumping it. 

We aim to remove all items on council-managed land within seven working days.

Be responsible, or risk a fine

If you’re paying someone to take your waste away you have a duty of care to ensure that it is legally disposed of without endangering health or harming the environment. You should always ask to see the waste carrier’s licence and note the details of the licence, their vehicle, the company and the driver’s name. You can easily check if they have a permit on the Government website or Environment Agency website.

If you have not carried out the above checks and the waste is then illegally disposed of, this could lead to a penalty of up to £5,000 if convicted in a magistrates' court or an unlimited fine if convicted in a crown court.

Remember that you can dispose of your own bulky waste at our Household Waste Recycling Centres or through our Bulky Waste Collection service.