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Fly-tipping in Allerdale

If somebody dumps waste on an open space without the consent of the landowner then this is fly-tipping. It is dangerous, illegal and unsightly. If you see any fly-tipping on public land please report it to us immediately.

Report fly-tipping

What kind of items might by dumped?

Items that are dumped illegally often include sofas, carpets, TVs, rubble, mattresses, fridges and general waste. Fly-tipping can be as small as a single item or bag of rubbish, or a truck load of waste.

Who is responsible for dealing with fly-tipping on public land?

- Local councils (such as oursevles) are responsible for clearing the waste from public land only. If you witness fly-tipping on public land please report this to us through our website or via the myAllerdale mobile app. While the council has a responsibility to respond to reports of fly-tipping, the education of the community and the provision of services for waste is also the responsibility of other agencies.

- The Environment Agency also has powers to tackle fly-tipping and investigates major illegal fly-tipping incidents if they occur on public or private land. These include:

  • BIG: Large illegal waste sites (greater than 20 tonnes)
  • BAD: Evidence of organised tipping or criminal business practice
  • NASTY: Drummed hazardous waste

The Environment Agency only clears up waste where there is an immediate risk to the environment and human health. They are not funded to clean up all illegally dumped waste on private or public land. More information on reporting these types of incidents can be found at

Who is responsible for dealing with fly-tipping on private land?

If you observe fly-tipping on private land this is the responsibility of the land owner to remove, however, local authority powers can be used under untidy site legislation:

'Section 215 of the Town and Country Planning Act 1990 enables Local Planning Authorities to serve a notice on owners of land and buildings, if it appears that a property or land is adversely affecting the amenity of the neighbourhood by its condition. The scope of works that can be required in such notices includes; clearance, tidying, demolition, re-building, external repairs and repainting.'

Section 215 is a valuable tool for fly tipping on private land. Please report this to our planning department.

What are the penalties?

If you are caught fly-tipping you may be fined up to £50,000 or sent to prison. You may also be prosecuted if fly-tipped items can be traced back to you, even if you weren’t the person who dumped them.

We all have a legal duty of care to ensure that our rubbish is passed on to an authorised person so that it can be disposed of safely. 

Don't get someone else you don't know or trust to get rid of your waste. If it is fly-tipped and we can trace you then it is you we will prosecute as the person responsible for the waste. Take your waste to the Household Waste Recycling Centre, get a bulky waste collection or use a licensed waste carrier.

Getting rid of items properly

All households will have waste, large items, unwanted or broken items from time to time. Knowing how to get rid of them properly is extremely important as it will help stop fly-tipping, save money and be better for the environment.

See our guide on how to dispose of items legally

Using private waste collectors

There are several private waste carriers operating in the area. However, anyone transporting waste must have a valid waste carriers permit and they must also provide a waste transfer note which proves that the waste has been transported and disposed of legally.

So before using a private company to come and collect your unwanted items make sure they are licensed to do so and if they are, make sure they provide you with a waste transfer note. Permits are granted by the Environment Agency and you can search for local permit holders on the Environment Agency website.

We all have a legal responsibility, called duty of care, to ensure that our rubbish is passed on to an authorised person so that it can be disposed of safely. If you use an unlicensed contractor and the waste is traced back to you, then you will be subject to prosecution.

Using licensed waste carriers helps prevent items being fly-tipped and protects taxpayers' money as every dumped item costs the council to clean-up.

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Cumberland Council

On 1 April 2023 local government in Cumbria changed, with Cumberland Council providing all your council services.  

Don't worry though, your bins will be emptied as normal, and you'll still be able to speak to the same team about any enquiries to do with things like council tax, benefits, planning or any other service.

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