Local authorities have started introducing on-the-spot fines against people caught fly-tipping.

The new penalty notices follow a change in the law that saw the government announced that from 9 May local councils will have the power to issue fines of between £150 and £400 to those caught fly-tipping anything from old fridges or sofas to garden waste or rubble.

At the time, then environment minister Rory Stewart – who has since been replaced by Andrea Leadsom – said the fixed penalty notices will provide a quicker alternative to prosecuting fly-tippers through the courts.

However, prosecutions will remain an option for local authorities in punishing large scale waste criminals.

Reading Borough Council has introduced £300 fixed-penalty fines for people caught fly-tipping in the Berkshire town.

The council added that prior to the new rules, people caught dumping up to five bags of rubbish received a fixed penalty notice of £75 for a littering offence. They are now classified as low level fly-tipping offences, allowing local authorities to set instant fines of between £150 and £400.

Reading Council warns, however, that large-scale fly-tippers will still face prosecution in court, up to six months in jail and fines of up to £20,000.

Ealing Council, meanwhile, has announced that from 15 August anyone caught fly-tipping rubbish on the borough’s streets will face a £400 on-the-spot fine. Ealing is one of the first boroughs to adopt the higher rate fixed penalty notice.

Since 6 June, officials from the West London local authority have also been patrolling the borough to catch offenders red-handed. To date, 111 of fixed-penalty notices have been given to fly-tippers.

3 fly-tipping facts

Local authorities in England dealt with a total of 900,000 incidents of fly-tipping in 2014/15, an increase of 5.6% since 2013/14 with nearly two-thirds of offences involving household waste.

Nearly a third of all recorded incidents consisted of a quantity of material equivalent to a small van load. The second largest size category for fly-tipping incidents was car boot and accounted for nearly 30% of total incidents.

The estimated cost of clearance of fly-tipping to local authorities in England in 2014/15 was nearly £50m, an 11% increase on 2013/14.

How to avoid committing a fly-tipping offence

The vast majority of the 900,000 fly-tipping offences that went down on record in England last year were deliberate acts.

However, there are some cases where a householder or business owner has paid a third party to take their waste away, not realising that the responsibility of where the unwanted material ends up lies with them.

When hiring a contractor to remove waste material from your home or business premises ensure the firm has is a waste carrier licence holder – otherwise you could be charged with fly-tipping.

Potential problems also include EU rules – which are likely to remain in place after Brexit is confirmed at some point in 2018 – that prevent hazardous waste, electrical items, tyres, fluorescent bulbs, chemicals such as paint or solvents, medical waste and compressed gas cylinders being put in landfill sites.

The skip hire operators who work with Proskips all hold waste carrier licences and will remove any other waste, including rubble, soil, furniture and wood. And if you need to leave your skip on the road, we will also arrange all necessary permits.

For the best value skip hire quote, click here.

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