Defensive measures against fly-tipping

May 11th 2017

The sight of casually discarded waste appearing on land raises the blood pressure of many farmers and landowners. Fly-tipping has reached epidemic proportions in this country with estimated clearing-up costs of £150 million each year. There are, however, a series of measures which can help to protect against offenders.

Without doubt, the problem of fly-tipping has worsened in recent years. Yet while the taxpayer has to foot the cost of rubbish removal from public land, landowners are responsible for the clear-up costs from their own property. As well as the expense involved in this, large amounts of waste pose a risk to both health and the environment.

Clear-up costs are not always covered on insurance policies. Where they are, sometimes cover is for a limited clear-up cost which may represent only a fraction of what is needed to pay the final bill. It is important to check the extent and limitations of your cover with your broker.

There is a burden of responsibility upon landowners to take whatever precautionary steps they can to prevent, or at least limit, fly-tipping. They must be vigilant and do what they can to deter fly-tippers. The following defensive measures provide a basis for action:

  • Ensure that gateways are secure and blocked, even if by a visible wire or log, to prevent vans being able to reverse in;
  • If fly-tipping does take place on your land, remove the waste as quickly as possible so it doesn’t become known as a convenient site;
  • Consider erecting signage – you want potential offenders to know that you’re being vigilant;
  • If a fly-tipping problem persists, consider installing a stealth camera to catch the offenders in the act; and
  • If the identity of a fly-tipper is established, then the police and council should be informed to pursue convictions and the possible recovery of costs.

One final consideration to note: if it transpires that waste might contain noxious liquids, then the Environment Agency should be contacted immediately to protect people and property.


Rob Matthews

Account Executive

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