Fly-tipping – Protection and Response

In Advice, Charity, Claims, Faith, Insurance, Risk Management by Static Author Display Name

Charities, voluntary organisations and community groups need to be aware of, and manage, the risk of fly-tipping on their property. Any organisation that owns private land is responsible for clearing or disposing of any illegally dumped waste on their property. The council will not normally clear it for free. And the costs can be significant.

Whilst you can get some cover for the costs of clearing fly-tipping from your property – such as under Property Damage with CaSE Charity Insurance – it is best to manage the risks associated with fly-tipping and minimise the likelihood of this taking place.

Protecting your land

If your organisation owns or operates land such as a park, community area or playing field, you are at risk of someone illegally dumping waste. The following tips should help you protect your land from the illegal dumping of waste:

  • Physically protect your property boundaries with gates and fences. You can also consider other forms of barriers, such as ditches, tree trunks or boulders, which can blend in with the environment and avoid blocking public right of way, to stop vehicular access.
  • Deter flytippers by installing lighting, CCTV and signage around problem areas.
  • Ensure any security is operational and effective. Gates should be closed and locked when not in use. All perimeter fencing should be inspected and repaired if damaged. Lighting and security cameras should be operational and maintained.
  • Clear any dumped waste immediately and improve deterrents or security around the area to ensure others are not encouraged to try again.

Responding to Fly-tipping

If you have discovered illegally dumped waste on land that you control, you should always report it to the relevant local authority so that it can be investigated. In addition, you should speak to your insurer to determine if the clearance of fly-tipping waste is included in your insurance.

Upon discovery of fly-tipping:

  • Be careful. If the fly-tipping is in progress, do not approach and call 999.
  • Be careful. Illegally dumped waste could be hazardous.
  • Record the incident, including details of the waste and when you found it. Take photographs and secure any CCTV of the fly-tipping .
  • Report the incident to local authorities and your insurer and follow any advice you are provided with.
  • Do what you can to ensure the waste is not added to before it’s cleared. Add in temporary fencing, security equipment such as lighting or CCTV cameras and deterring signage.
  • Keep full details of any costs incurred from the disposal of the waste, ensuring that you’ve followed your insurers advice on disposal (if you’re insured) or the local authorities (if you’re forced to pay for the clearance yourself).

Clearing Fly-tipping

If you decide to clear the waste yourself, and your insurer is aware of this, then ensure you do a full risk assessment and that anyone taking part in the clearance is provided with all necessary personal protective equipment. Remember also that certain types of hazardous material (for example building material containing asbestos) will require clearance by specialist contractors and you should not attempt to dispose of this waste yourself.