Illegal dumping (also known as flytipping) is the illegal deposit of any waste on land that has no licence to accept it. This includes anything from one black bag on the side of the road to ten tonnes of rubble dumped down a quiet lane. Land where illegal dumping takes place can include parks, streets, roads, laybys, verges, beaches, wooded areas, and fields.
What are the types of waste being illegally dumped?
- bags of household waste
- white goods
- construction/building/tradesmen materials
- grass/tree/hedge cuttings
Why is illegal dumping a problem?
- It’s dangerous to people and animals
- It attracts vermin
- It looks unsightly
- It can cause environmental damage
- It attracts other rubbish
- It undermines legitimate businesses
- It costs Fife Council Tax payers considerable sums to clean up.
Who deals with it?
- Public Land – Fife Council is responsible for clearing and investigating illegal dumping on public land such as roads and park. They will use any available evidence to find and prosecute those responsible.
- Private Land – If it occurs on private land, it's the responsibility of the landowner to remove it and dispose of it responsibly.
- Large-scale examples of illegal dumping (hazardous waste and organised waste crime gangs) – SEPA has a responsibility to carry out an investigation into large scale fly tips. Fife Council will make the area safe until it can be removed.
If you are a householder, you must ensure that all your waste is properly disposed of. This applies to all domestic properties, caravans and residential homes.
People who dump waste illegally can be the subject of a fixed penalty fine of £200, but more serious cases can be reported to the Procurator Fiscal and may incur fines up to £40,000 or even imprisonment.
Advice for businesses
All business have a legal duty to dispose of their waste properly. Please visit our Business Waste page for more information.
Things to consider
If you’re having work done in your home, office or garden you should budget for responsible waste disposal and not choose the cheapest option.
Illegal dumping sometimes happens when you pay someone unregistered to take away your waste. It is your responsibility to check whether the person taking your waste is a registered waste carrier. This is known as Duty of Care.
If you are looking to have waste removed, check for the following:-
- The waste carrier is registered with SEPA
- That the waste carrier has a licence which can be verified on the SEPA website
- Ask them where they will be taking your waste to (it must be a licensed waste disposal site)
- Ask them to provide their full address and telephone number
- Take a note of their vehicle description (make, colour etc) and vehicle registration number
There are many options to choose from to dispose of your waste:
- Book a slot at your local Household Waste Recycling Centre
- There are over 300 recycling points in Fife that take a variety of items from food and drinks cans to textiles. Please check what your local recycling points allows
- Arrange a Bulky Uplift with the council. Prices start from £15
- Arrange for an authorised Waste Carrier.
- Consider recycling, reusing or donating to charity. Such Charities are:-
- Furniture Plus
- Castle Furniture
- Fife Bike Works - recycle your old bicycle
- Take your unwanted items to a local charity shop
£95,000 of supermarket trolleys are stolen or dumped every day. Supermarket trolleys are the responsibility of the relevant supermarket. If you find an abandoned trolley please report this to the appropriate supermarket for collection.Back To Top
If you discover waste dumped illegally:
- 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
- Make a note of the day, date and time you saw the waste, its exact location and whether it's in or near water
- Take a photo if it's safe and possible to do so
After you have discovered the waste and done the above, you can then report it to us by completing or by using the following methods:
- Using the Contact the service form below
- Telephone: 03451 55 00 22
- Email: SaferCommunities.Team@fife.gov.uk
- Contact us on Facebook at #safercommunitiesfife
We aim to respond within 24 hours if the items could cause damage to the public, wildlife or the environment. In all other circumstances, we will attend within three working days.
For advice on preventing waste being dumped illegally on your land, please contact us or visit Zero Waste Scotland.
For information on recycling and waste for residents of Fife, please see Household recycling.