There were 35,424 fly-tipping incidents in Wales last year. Fly-tipping Action Wales is calling on the public to help prevent fly-tipping by being aware of illegitimate waste operators and by understanding their waste duty of care.
Whether it's a fridge freezer dumped at the corner of a city street, or an old fitted kitchen spoiling a mountaintop view, you'd struggle to find someone that doesn't despise fly-tipping. You might be surprised to learn then, that over two-thirds of fly-tipping contains waste from people's homes.
Whilst there are undoubtedly householders who think it’s acceptable to fly-tip waste themselves, often it is unlicensed waste operators who are responsible. These individuals offer reduced-rate rubbish removal at the expense of our environment. They fly-tip the waste to avoid costs associated with safe and legal disposal.
Local Authorities are responsible for enforcing against fly-tipped household waste and they investigate incidents to find those responsible but often it is difficult to find the culprits. The waste duty of care legislation is part of the Environmental Protection Act (1990), it places a legal duty on householders to ensure that waste produced on their property is given to an authorised person. Householders can be prosecuted if they do not take all reasonable steps to ensure that waste produced on their property is passed to a licensed individual.
Taking someone to court for this offense can take a great deal of time and effort for the Local Authority and could land the householder with a criminal record, even when they paid someone in good faith to remove their waste. It’s for this reason that these new measures are being introduced, they will make it easier for Local Authorities to hold householders to account and prevent waste getting into the hands of illegitimate waste operators.
So, what can you do to make sure that your waste is dealt with responsibly?
Firstly, think about the waste you produce and try to plan ahead. If you are struggling with excess waste from day to day living, contact your local authority or visit the Wales Recycles website as they will be able to help you recycle more.
Items such as electricals, toys, and furniture can be donated to charity & re-use shops. Some will collect items for free if they are in good condition. However, please check that the recycling charity wants the items as leaving items outside when the shop is closed is fly-tipping and you risk being prosecuted.
All Local Authorities in Wales offer a bulky item collection service, the cost of using this service and the number of items you can have collected varies throughout Wales but expect to pay between £15 to £45 for a few large items.
If you can take waste yourself to your local household waste & recycling centre, visit Wales Recycles to see what waste they can accept and also check your council’s website for further details.
If you decide to pay someone to take away your household waste, then to meet your Householder Waste Duty of Care you must do the following:
Check with Natural Resources Wales that the person or company you are using is a registered waste carrier. You can check online at naturalresources.wales/checkWaste or by calling 03000 65 3000.
Fly-tipping Action Wales also recommend that you:
- Record any checks that you make, including the operator’s registration number
- Keep a receipt which includes a description of the waste and company used
- Record details of the business or vehicle (registration, make, model, colour)
You can learn more by visiting our duty of care guidance page.