Guide to Reporting and Tackling Fly-tipping in Suffolk

Fly-tipping is the illegal dumping of rubbish, punishable by a maximum sentence of an unlimited fine and five years imprisonment on conviction. 


  • Is a criminal activity that can seriously pollute watercourses and contaminates land.
  • Can be a risk to human health and harm wildlife and livestock.
  • Is unsightly, spoiling our communities and the quality of life for local residents.
  • Is seen as a major problem by over threequarters of landowners and affects 67% of farmers.
  • Undermines legitimate waste management companies who are undercut by illegal operators.
  • Encourages others to dump more waste.

Suffolk Waste Partnership has a 'Tripping Up the Tippers' video to show householders how to prevent fly-tipping at source:

Fly-tipping Partnership Framework - A new toolkit tackling fly-tipping has been developed by the National Fly-tipping Prevention group. The Fly-tipping Partnership Framework outlines best practice guidelines for the prevention, reporting, investigation and clearance of fly-tipping, and highlights the Suffolk Waste Partnership’s anti-fly-tipping campaign. Read more

Who pays for fly-tipping?

We all do.  Every year, it costs around £300,000 to clear waste dumped illegally on public land in Suffolk. When rubbish is fly-tipped on public land, local district and borough Councils are obliged to clear the waste at Council Tax Payers’ expense. If waste is dumped on private land, landowners have to clear it at their own expense. 

How can I prevent my rubbish being fly-tipped by someone else?

The first line of defence against fly-tipping is ensuring that only people who will dispose of the waste responsibly are allowed to take your waste away. We all have a legal obligation, or Duty of Care, to ensure that all waste from our household or business is disposed of correctly. By taking these necessary precautions, you can reduce the risk that rubbish from your home or business is dumped illegally. Click on the table below to find out more.

Advice for Householders Advice for Businesses Advice for Landowners




What do I do if I find some fly-tipped waste?

If the rubbish is on public land, the local district or borough council is obliged to clear it up. You can report an incident to your local Council to investigate contact details here. They will investigate all incidents of fly-tipping on public land, and whilst councils will not clear rubbish dumped on private land free of charge, they may investigate such incidents where appropriate.

To report bigger incidents of fly-tipping, please call the Environment Agency's 24 hour incident Hotline on 0800 80 70 60. This is a free number from any landline; some charges may apply if you are calling from a mobile. They investigate incidents with a greater potential to cause harm to human health and damage to the environment, such as the larger scale incidents of fly-tipping (generally those involving more than a lorry/tipper load of waste), incidents involving hazardous waste, and those involving organised gangs of fly-tippers.

What should I do if I see someone fly-tipping?

Witnesses are vitally important in enabling action to be taken against people who fly-tip rubbish, so please do not hesitate to report any incident that you witness as soon as possible.

Do not put yourself in danger by approaching anyone you see dumping rubbish; they are criminals, who may be involved in other criminal activities, and as such are unlikely to respond well to being challenged. IF it is possible to observe them safely, the more information you are able to provide, the better the chances of an investigation.

Information that is useful includes the following:

  1. Time and date of incident;
  2. Description of person(s) dumping rubbish;
  3. Description of vehicle(s) involved, including registration numbers;
  4. Description of the rubbish dumped;
  5. Photographs can also be very useful, but only if it is possible to obtain them safely.

Please be reassured that any information supplied in connection to any such incident is treated in strictest confidence in accordance with the Data Protection Act 1998. If you make notes please keep them, even if they are scribbled notes on the back of an envelope. Actual notes taken at the time can be very valuable as evidence.

Do not try to rummage through the waste yourself to look for evidence, as there may be hazardous or sharp items hidden among the waste. Council staff will carry out a thorough examination of the waste as part of their investigation.

You can report an incident to your local Council to investigate contact details here.

Tip-Off Posters & Advice Leaflet now available

As part of the Tip-Off - Stop Fly Tipping in Suffolk Campaign, a new warning poster and leaflet are now available. The warning poster is available in two designs, and can be freely used by anyone affected by fly-tipping on their own property to act as a deterrent. The new leaflet offers advice to householders, businesses, and landowners about the part that they can play in helping to prevent and tackle fly-tipping. Click on the images below to download a copy:

Tip Off Advice Leaflet

Tip Off Posters