Littering and fly tipping
Fly-tipping and Litter are both forms of ‘environmental crime’. All incidents of litter and fly-tipping should be reported to your district or borough council. Residents should not to try tackling an offender themselves, nor put themselves at risk gaining the information such as car make/registration number.
- Cannock Chase District Council
- East Staffordshire Borough Council
- Lichfield District Council
- Newcastle-under-Lyme Borough Council
- South Staffordshire District Council
- Stafford Borough Council
- Staffordshire Moorlands District Council
- Stoke-on-Trent City Council
- Tamworth Borough Council
- Staffordshire County Council.
What is the difference between litter and fly-tipping?
Small items (most commonly materials associated with smoking, eating and drinking) that are improperly discarded or are spilt during business operations, will be classed as litter. Large items, or more than a single sack of rubbish should usually be considered fly-tipping.
Littering is crime, subject to a maximum fine of £2,500. Legislation sets out standards of cleanliness for public places, which combine visual assessment of the amount of litter with fixed deadlines for cleaning up, changing the way councils operate. Instead of regular rounds, many councils now use a more flexible approach so they can respond quickly to unexpected problems.
Litter doesn’t just spoil how things look – it can also be a health hazard. Floor litter can attract rats and flies, which spread diseases. Dog fouling in public areas (another form of litter) is a serious health risk. Litter can also be lethal to wildlife. For example, drinks left in discarded bottles often attract small animals like mice, which can squeeze into the bottles but may drown or be unable to climb the smooth, sloping surfaces to get out. Discarded fishing lines can maim and kill water birds. Plastic bags can look like food to cows, sheep, horses and marine life, but can kill if swallowed.
Increasingly, there are cases where people choose to tip their rubbish in the countryside or on other people’s land. Fly-tipping is illegal and offenders can be fined up to £20,000 or face imprisonment.
Fly tipping is dangerous and costly to clean up. It is potentially harmful to health, can cause serious pollution and environmental problems, such as issues for wildlife.
When reporting fly-tipping you should take note of:
- The date, time and place where the tipping is taking place or has occurred;
- What the waste is and roughly how much of it there is;
- A description of any vehicles involved and the registration number;
- A prosecution cannot be made without evidence.