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Mail :
Environmental Services
Plymouth City Council
Plymouth PL1 2AA
Phone :
01752 668000
Email :
Fax :
01752 304786

Fly tipping

Fly tipping

Fly tipping is described as the illegal deposit of any waste onto land; waste dumped or tipped on a site without a licence. Waste includes general household waste, larger domestic items including fridges and mattresses, garden refuse, commercial waste such as builders’ rubble, clinical waste and tyres.

The easiest and quickest way to report fly tipping is to download our free mobile app.

Apple Icon Download the iPad / iPhone app

Android Icon Download the Android app

Blackberry Icon Download the Blackberry app

There's also a website version of our app if you don't have a smartphone or tablet. You can also fill out our cleaner streets online form, email or phone 01752 668000.

When reporting an incident of fly tipping please include:

  • the time, day and date you observed the incident
  • a description of any individuals and vehicles involved including vehicle colour, type and registration number
  • a description of the waste


  • do not touch the waste as there may be hidden dangers that could cause you harm
  • try and stay upwind of the waste in case of fumes
  • do not approach the fly tippers. What they are doing is illegal and their behaviour may be unpredictable
  • keep any notes you have made in case they are needed for future reference.

How long will it take to clear up the rubbish?

If the rubbish is on land owned by Plymouth City Council, we will remove it as soon as possible after it has been reported to us. If the rubbish is on private land, we have to contact the owner before any action can be taken. We cannot guarantee how long it will take for rubbish on private land to be cleared up.

What are the problems caused by fly tipping?

Fly tipping is a problem because:

  • uncontrolled waste disposal can present a hazard to the public for example drums of toxic waste, asbestos sheeting, syringes and used drugs
  • depending on the nature of the waste and its location, there can be damage to watercourses, or to underlying soil quality
  • fly tipped material looks unsightly and this can damage investment into an area
  • cleaning up fly tipping costs taxpayers in money and time
  • it undermines legitimate waste management activities - licensed operators have to charge more because they have invested in training and infrastructure and documentation to comply with the legislation

Who can prosecute fly tippers?

The Police, the Environment Agency and our Environmental Protection team can prosecute fly tippers. Evidence has to be carefully documented to achieve a prosecution - dates, eyewitness statements, photographs and any address details found in the dumped material.

Fly tipping is a crime and the Environment Agency can prosecute fly tippers under the Environmental Protection Act 1990. Fines can be up to £20,000 or six months imprisonment (or both) if someone is convicted in a Magistrates court. If someone is prosecuted in the Crown Court, the fine is unlimited with the possibility of between two and five years imprisonment if hazardous waste is involved.

The Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs is committed to dealing with improving local environmental quality and tackling fly tipping.

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