Facts about fly-tipping

  • Image displaying a no fly-tipping sign (a red prohibited circle with the words no fly-tipping against a red background)Everyone has a legal duty of care to dispose of waste correctly and is accountable even if their waste is fly-tipped by someone else. Use the links below for information on managing waste:
  • The majority of fly-tipping is carried out by rogue traders offering cheap waste clearance.
  • The act of fly-tipping is a criminal offence punishable by Fixed Penalty Notice, unlimited fine and/or imprisonment up to 5 years
  • Vehicles used for fly-tipping can be seized by enforcement authorities.
  • Fly-tipping has a harmful impact on the environment, wildlife and people.
  • Incidences can vary in scale from a single item to large quantities of waste and may include general waste, furniture, electrical goods, rubble, timber, mattresses, carpets and hazardous materials like asbestos or chemicals.
  • Clearing up fly-tipping is an unnecessary cost to Norfolk’s taxpayers.

How to report fly-tipping

If you discover fly-tipping please report it as soon as possible.  Reporting online is the easiest method and can be done here.  The more information you can provide, the more likely it is that the fly-tippers will be caught.

Alternatively it can be reported to the relevant local authority.

Abandoned shopping trolleys should be reported to the relevant retailer/owner.

Things to consider: 

  • DON’T TOUCH the waste – it may contain syringes, toxic chemicals or other hazardous substances.
  • DON’T DISTURB the area – there may be evidence that could help identify the fly-tippers and lead to their prosecution.
  • From a safe location try to assess what the waste consists of and how much there is.
  • Make a note of the date and time you saw the fly-tipping, its exact location and whether it was in or near water.
  • TAKE PHOTOGRAPHS – it helps to have a wide shot of the fly-tip in its original place, and closer shots of any obvious evidence (remember your own safety first).  Please upload these on the form when making your report.
  • After reporting, you may be contacted for further information.

What happens once fly-tipping is reported

The relevant local authority will aim to remove fly-tipping from public land within two working days following the report, unless specialist equipment or treatment is needed, in which case special arrangements will be made for it be removed.

They can investigate fly-tipping on public and private land (with the owner’s consent), and will consider legal action against offenders where appropriate.

Removal of fly-tipping from private land is the responsibility of the landowner.

Responsibility for clearing up fly-tipping

Public land

If fly-tipping occurs on public land or property it is the responsibility of the relevant local authority to clear and dispose of the waste.  Norfolk’s borough, city and district councils have a duty to clear fly-tipping from the public highway and on land they own such as footpaths, lay-bys, verges and public spaces.  The County Council will then arrange for the disposal of the collected waste.

The Environment Agency (0800 80 70 60) may investigate if the incident is large-scale, serious, organised illegal dumping, or immediately threatens human health or the environment.

Private land

The removal and disposal of fly-tipped waste on private land or property is the responsibility of the land owner.  Private land includes:

  • Farmland
  • Forestry land
  • Gardens
  • Industrial sites
  • Railways
  • Shop car parks

Fly-tipping on private land should be reported as this information might help build a case against repeat fly-tippers and lead to prosecution. Fly-tipped items found on private land can not be taken to recycling centres for disposal.

What to do if you see somebody fly-tipping


If it is safe to do so, write down the details shown below as soon as possible and report it online. You may be asked to help make a written statement about what you saw.

  • The date and time you saw it happening.
  • How many people were fly-tipping and what they looked like.
  • What they were actually doing.
  • Any vehicles involved – their make, colour and registration number.
  • Where you were when you saw the fly-tipping.
  • What kind of view you had and how far away you were.
  • What the weather and light conditions were.
  • What was tipped.
  • How much was tipped.
  • What it looked like.

If possible and safe to do so, only take a photograph of the waste – a wide shot to show the fly-tip in its original location, and a close-up of anything of interest.