Report litter and fly-tipping
Litter spoils our neighbourhoods and environment, attracting pests and encouraging others to litter and we treat it seriously. It can include anything from a cigarette butt, chewing gum, a crisp packet, fruit and veg waste, to a bag of rubbish.
You can help reduce the amount of litter by disposing of your litter responsibly and encouraging others to do the same.
If you see someone dropping litter that you don't know, it is important not to confront them if you think that your personal safety might be at risk.
Try to remember and note down as much detail of the incident as possible, including the date, time and location, what was littered and the name and address of the offender if you know it. Where a vehicle is involved please note the make, colour and registration mark of the vehicle, together with a description of the offender i.e. driver, front seat passenger, male, female, etc.
Please note we are not able to act on anonymous reports.
Littering is a criminal offence in all public places, but also on any private land and land covered by water. Unfortunately, it's something we see and clear on a regular basis. You can visit our street care page for more information.
Anyone who drops litter, including from a vehicle, is committing a crime. We can issue 'on the spot' Fixed Penalty Notices of £80, or you can be prosecuted in the courts and fined up to £2,500.
Driving and Vehicle Licencing Agency (DVLA) registration numbers mean we can trace a vehicle driving away after leaving litter.
Dumping waste on any land which doesn't have an Environmental Permit, or allowing others to do so on your behalf is a criminal offence. You could face very large fines and even be sent to prison.
Apart from being an eyesore, fly-tipping can lead to serious pollution of land and waterways, blight our countryside and open spaces, increase fear of crime, and harm wildlife and human health.
The Council and the Environment Agency are responsible for clearing up or investigating fly-tipping on public land. Clearing fly-tipping from private land is the responsibility of the landowner. Fly-tipping costs council taxpayers and landowners significant amounts of money to clear away.
Everyone has a legal responsibility or 'duty of care' to make sure that all waste from their household or business is disposed of correctly and doesn't end up being fly-tipped.
Some people make money by charging to take waste away illegally and then fly-tipping it. You could face penalties of up to £5,000 if you don’t check that the company or person you give waste to:
- has a licence to carry waste
- is not taking it to an unlicensed site
There are a number of Household Waste and Recycling Centres throughout Suffolk where residents can dispose of household waste. These sites also accept business waste for a fee.
Alternatively, you can download the nationwide Clear Waste app to report fly tips too.
Advice for Householders
You can dispose of most household waste at the network of Household Waste and Recycling Centres around Suffolk. However, if you arrange for anyone else to dispose of your waste, remember the SCRAP code.
Suspect - beware of rogue waste carriers who dump waste illegally. If in doubt do not let them take your waste.
Check - ask to see their waste carrier's licence - you can check the details on the public register or by calling 08708 506506. Note down the licence details and the registration number of the vehicle used to take your waste away.
Refuse unsolicited offers - always carry out your own research and choose who you want to take your waste away.
Ask questions - ask what is going to happen to your waste, and seek evidence that it is going to be disposed of appropriately. A legitimate, professional waste carrier should not object to being asked reasonable questions.
Paperwork - make sure you get a proper invoice and receipt for your waste.
Advice for Businesses
Businesses have a broader duty of care than householders and are required to ensure that waste is stored safely and securely, and that waste information notes are completed for each load of waste removed. Full details of your responsibilities.
- If you give your business waste to anyone other than the Council's business waste services or by taking it to one of the Household Waste and Recycling Centres, you must check that they are a registered waste carrier. You can check the public register of waste carriers or by calling 08708 506506.
- You must ensure that you complete waste information notes (often called Waste Transfer Notes) relating to all waste the comes from your business. You must keep these for a period of two years. Failure to produce these notes when asked by the Council or the Environment Agency is an offence, for which you could be fined.
For more information, see the National Fly-tipping Prevention Group guide for businesses for individuals and Waste Duty of Care Code of Practice.
Advice for Landowners
Landowners are responsible for removing and disposing of any waste fly-tipped on their land. You can protect your land from fly-tipping by:
- Installing gates or barriers, ideally in keeping with the natural environment
- Making sure that gates are closed when not in use
- Improving visibility so that fly-tippers are not hidden from view
- Installing or improving lighting
- Placing appropriate signage, CCTV or dummy cameras
- Swiftly clearing any dumped waste to discourage others from adding to it
- Report all incidents to the Council - whilst the Council will not remove waste free of charge, we can investigate and take enforcement action where possible - in the event of prosecution this can include an application to the courts to receive landowner's costs.
For more information, see the National Fly-tipping Prevention Group guide for landowners.
If you discover fly-tipped waste, there are some do's and don'ts:
- Don't touch the waste - it may contain syringes, toxic chemicals or other hazardous substances.
- Don't disturb the site - there may be evidence that could help identify the fly-tippers and lead to their prosecution.
- Visually try to work out what the waste consists of and how much there is - take photos if it is safe to do so.
- Make a note of the day, date and time you saw the tipping, its exact location and whether it’s in or near water. Keep any notes you make, even scribbled ones, as they can be very valuable as evidence.
- Contact us as soon as possible so that we can investigate.
If you witness someone fly-tipping, make a note of:
- How many people are involved and what they look like.
- What has been dumped - how much and what it looks like.
- Details of any vehicles involved including make, colour and registration number if possible.
- Call 999 if the incident is still in progress.
Be very careful. Remember that fly-tippers are doing something illegal – they are unlikely to welcome people observing them or taking notes or photographs.