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What is fly-tipping?

Fly-tipping is illegally dumped rubbish on a road, pavement or open space. Fly-tipping can be rubbish from a household or a business. The amount of dumped rubbish can range from one bag to a large lorry load.

If you discover dumped rubbish you should not touch or handle it as it could contain hazardous material and it might contain evidence that we can use. To be able to prosecute a fly tipper we need to have enough evidence to prove beyond reasonable doubt that they committed the crime.

Fly-tipping is a crime

  • Fly-tippers can face fines of up to £50,000 and a prison sentence. Vehicles used to commit offences can also be seized and crushed.
  • Householders can also be fined and end up with a criminal record if their rubbish is found to be fly-tipped. Don't use unlicensed waste carriers - if you do, you are breaking the law too. Information about the household duty of care is provided below.

Report fly-tipping

Use this form to report illegally dumped rubbish and to tell us if you have witnessed someone fly-tipping.

  • Follow the advice below if you need to report a fly-tipping emergency
  • Phone 0161 253 5353 if the rubbish has been dumped in a place that can't easily be identified with a street name or other similar location

Report a fly-tipping emergency

If the dumped rubbish includes any of the following do not touch or handle it and phone us straight away.

  • Chemical or fuel spill and oil drums
  • Medical waste
  • Animal carcass
  • Asbestos

During office hours 8.45am to 5pm, Monday to Friday phone: 0161 253 5353.
Out-of-office hours phone: 0161 253 6606.

How we respond to reports of fly-tipping

How we respond depends on where the rubbish has been dumped.

Areas we maintain (for example, roads, pavements, public open spaces, parks, cemeteries and car parks)

We aim to clear rubbish from areas we maintain within ten working days. It may take longer depending on the type of waste as we may need to use a specialist contractor or prioritise which waste we clear first.

Unadopted roads or streets, private property or business premises

We are not responsible for removing rubbish from these areas but our enforcement officers may be able to take action against the person who has dumped the waste or the landowner or business to remove the rubbish. In the case of unadopted back streets, occupiers are responsible for keeping the street clean and should use their waste bins and not put out loose rubbish. If waste is left in unadopted streets ,the Council can clean the street. The cost of removing the rubbish will have to be shared between relevant occupiers of properties next to or using the street.

Metrolink tram line, motorway or rivers

We do not clear rubbish from these areas. We will send a copy of your report to the relevant authority.

Household duty of care - a guide for householders

If you are a householder you must ensure that all your household waste is properly disposed of. This applies to all domestic properties, caravans and residential homes.

As a householder you must take reasonable steps to check that anyone you use to remove waste from your property is authorised to do so.

Legislation means, that as a householder, you can be prosecuted if your waste is found fly-tipped and traced back to your address. If you don't comply with your duty of care you can be fined a maximum of £5,000 on conviction in a magistrates court, or face an unlimited fine if convicted in a crown court.

Steps you should take to comply with your duty of care

Ask any waste carrier to:

  • provide you with their full address and telephone number;
  • see their waste carrier licence - if they don't have one, don't use them; and
  • check where your waste will be taken to - it must be a licensed waste disposal site.

We also recommend that you carry out a free instant Waste Carrier Validation Check. You can do this free of charge via the Environment Agency. Check online at the Environment Agency website

Don't use unlicensed waste carriers - if you do, you're breaking the law and could end up with a criminal record if your rubbish is found to be fly tipped.

How to manage your waste

Our enforcement officers investigate hundreds of complaints each year about waste in gardens and on private land. To avoid a large bill, fine or prosecution, make sure you manage your waste properly and keep your property waste free.

Dumping waste on the highway or in back streets is illegal and can result in a fine.