Fly-tipping and littering covers a range of items that people might discard in a public place, from large appliances like fridges to drugs-related paraphernalia like needles and syringes. Find out more below, including what you can do to help clean up your community.
Common types of littering
While the police will take action if we witness it happening, littering should usually be reported to your local council as they can organise the removal of litter.
General littering includes the dumping of household rubbish, either in plastic bags or as individual items. It also includes dog fouling in public places.
Fly-tipping is the illegal dumping of large items or waste on public roads, land or into rivers. This could include large household appliances like washing machines or discarded materials from construction sites.
Equipment used for taking drugs, discarded drugs and items used during sex, such as condoms, represent a serious health risk to the general public. Your local council will want to remove these and make the area safe.
What is the impact?
Fly-tipping and littering can be a health hazard, not to mention an eyesore. It can cause unpleasant smells, attract pests and create a dangerous environment for children, pets and wildlife in particular.
We’ve found that if the problem is not dealt with quickly, it can lead to an increase in fly-tipping in the area, making the unpleasant and unsafe area even larger and more obvious.
What you can do
If you’ve witnessed littering or people leaving a mess in public, please don’t attempt to remove the rubbish yourself in case there are hidden sharp or dangerous items. Contact your local council who will arrange for the rubbish to be removed.
If you’ve witnessed fly-tipping or people discarding drug-related items, please photograph the discarded items if possible, and find the right reporting service using our online tool.