Illegal dumping

Illegal dumping at Scales Road, London, England
Illegal dumping in a residential subdivision, north of Toronto, Ontario, Canada

Illegal dumping,[1][2] also called fly dumping or fly tipping,[3] is the dumping of waste illegally instead of using an authorised method such as kerbside collection or using an authorised rubbish dump. It is the illegal deposit of any waste onto land, including waste dumped or tipped on a site with no licence to accept waste.[4][5]


Illegal dumping is typically distinguished from littering by the type and amount of material and/or the manner in which it is discarded. An example of littering could be throwing a cigarette on the ground. However, emptying a rubbish bin with no permission in a public or private area can be classified as illegal dumping. [6]

The term fly tipping is derived from the verb tip, meaning "to throw out of a vehicle", and on the fly, meaning "on the wing" – to throw away carelessly or casually.[7]

United Kingdom

Taxes on landfill in the UK have led to illegal waste dumping. Materials illegally disposed of can range from green waste and domestic items to abandoned cars and construction waste, much of which may be hazardous or toxic.

As the cost of disposing of household rubbish and waste increases, so does the number of individuals and businesses that fly-tip, and the UK government has made it easier for members of the public to report fly-tipping.[8] The fine or punishment is normally defined by the local council that operates in the local area in which the rubbish was dumped. According to the BBC, Fly-tipping costs councils in England and Wales more than £50m annually (2016).[9]

Open dumping

Open dumps are locations where illegally dumped, abandoned piles of waste and debris are left in noticeable quantities. Fines are a common punishment for a person caught dumping at an open dump. Open dumps are commonly found in forests, backyards and abandoned buildings. Open dumps are sometimes removed shortly after they are created, but most will persist for an indefinite period of time when the site is situated in the wilderness or in public space without adequate public services.

... a multi-family dumpsite of any size or content. Open dumping is illegal under the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA). The hazards of open dumping can include the release of toxics and heavy metals to the air and water; the increased presence of disease vectors such as rodents and insects; and physical hazards such as hypodermic needles, poisonous gases, and/or piercing objects.

See also


  1. "Illegal Dumping". 2010-10-07. Retrieved 2013-07-28.
  2. "Illegal Dumping Info". 2011-08-30. Retrieved 2013-07-28.
  3. "City of Chicago :: Environment". Retrieved 2010-08-18.
  4. Fly tipping and the law a guide for the public,
  5. "UK fly-tipping 'on massive scale'". BBC. 2007-03-19. Retrieved 2008-12-16. Fly-tipping is taking place on a "massive scale" across the UK, the Countryside Alliance has warned. Some 2.5m cases of illegal dumping were recorded between April 2005 and 2006, it said, with 1,249,527 incidents reported in Liverpool alone.
  6. Littering vs Dumping
  7. fly-tipping, n. Oxford English Dictionary, online edition, November 2010. Retrieved: 2011-01-28.
  9. 'It fell off the back of the van' - fly-tipping excuses
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