What Is Fly Tipping?
Fly Tipping is essentially the dumping of waste in an area where it is not supposed to be. The name fly-tipping references the fact that it is usually done ‘on the fly’ or on the move. This is done for a number of different reasons, laziness and money are the two biggest factors. Whatever the reason nobody wants rubbish dumped on their street or land.
“Fly-tipping – The illegal deposit of any waste on to land that does not have a licence to accept it.”- Keep Britain Tidy
A Big Problem
The amount of waste which is fly-tipped is a national problem. Both unsightly and an attraction for rats and other vermin it creates huge health and safety issues. It can also be very dangerous especially when the waste contains hazardous material such as asbestos.
“For the 2017/18 year, local authorities in England dealt with just under 1 million (998,000) fly-tipping incidents.” – National Fly Tipping Protection Group
A large percentage of rubish which has been fly-tipped is domestic waste. The most common items being building materials. This is because many local council tips now charge to dispose of building materials including rubble, plaster and hardcore. These changes have brought about an increase in illegal tipping as people are unwilling to pay to dispose of their waste.
The Local Government Association, which represents councils, said six of the 10 areas which have seen the biggest rises in fly-tipping in the last year do charge householders to take some types of rubbish to the tip, mainly building rubble, plaster and hardcore.
“Two thirds (66%) of fly-tips involved household waste.”
The problem with fly-tippers has brought about the introduction of fines for anyone found to be leaving waste in an un-authorised area. The maximum fine for civilians is £400 and there are around 50000 fines handed out each year.
Whilst any building materials are a health and safety risk, items containing asbestos are very dangerous.
A highly dangerous material, when asbestos fibres are inhaled they are potentially deadly.
“The Health & Safety Executive (HSE) has identified asbestos fibre exposure as the single greatest cause of occupationally related disease in the UK. Asbestos inhalation and related diseases account for around 4,500 deaths each year in the UK.”
Made of small fibres, asbestos was often mixed with others making it difficult to detect. However, there are some materials which are more likely to contain it.
Older Materials Predating 2000
Asbestos was completely banned in the year 2000, however, it was used in a large range of building materials before then. At its peak between 1950 – 1980 it was used in hundreds of different materials.
Most Common Materials
The most common places to find asbestos are floor & ceiling tiles, cement roofs, insulation boards and loft insulation. Other materials containing asbestos were also often used in pipe insulation, old fuse boxes and boilers and Artex.
To find out more about what asbestos looks like and where it can be found take a look here.
It’s not just joe public to blame for fly-tipping, some commercial companies are also to blame. These cases carry more than just a £400 fine. The biggest penalty imposed by a court in 2016 was just over £25,500 to a meat and poultry business in Birmingham. That case was prosecuted at a magistrates’ court.
Cowboy roofer fly-tipped asbestos in residential Preston street
Dangerous waste from a roofing business was dumped by a block of flats, a car park, communal rubbish bins behind the flats and bushes in Preston, Lancashire.
“Deadly asbestos-containing rubbish was dumped around a Preston neighbourhood in black bin bags, a court case has revealed.”- Lancashire Post
A roofer from Lancashire pleaded guilty to a charge of depositing controlled waste without a permit. He was ordered to pay compensation of £1,000 to the council, an £803 fine, £80 victim surcharge, and £717 costs.
Dumping such dangerous waste puts the general public in danger and carries a much bigger cost than any fine.
What To Do?
You shouldn’t attempt to move waste containing asbestos it yourself if you think you have discovered it. Immediately contact an asbestos removal specialist such as WeldLag who can deal with it correctly.
Whilst those who dump illegal waste are to blame, it is whoever discovers it that usually has to organise the clean-up.
Whose Responsibility Is It?
If you find waste dumped on your property, whether it’s your home, business or land. You will probably find yourself responsible for getting it removed. Contact a specialist if you are concerned that the waste may contain potentially hazardous material.
“Land managers, occupiers or owners of private property are responsible for clearing and disposing of any fly-tipping found on private land.” – National Fly Tipping Protection Group
Although they will not be responsible for the cost you should always report fly tipping to the local authority. This is so they can investigate and possibly prosecute the people responsible. If you keep records of your disposal costs you may be able to recover them if a prosecution is successful.
If you find rubbish dumped on a public highway or council-owned space you can contact your local authority. By clicking the link here you can find your local council and contact them for help. If you think there is asbestos among the waste you must tell your local council so that they can arrange for it to be removed properly.
If you are worried that any items outside or inside your home contain asbestos contact us and we will be happy to help.