Fly-tipping makes our neighbourhoods look ugly and can also pose a health risk. Here's a handy guide of everything you need to know before reporting it.
What is fly-tipping?
Fly-tipping is the "illegal deposit of any waste onto land that does not have a licence to accept it". In simple terms, it's rubbish dumped somewhere it shouldn't have been.
That could be a mattress, an old TV, or a rusty radiator left at the end of a street, or it could be several truckloads of rubble and plaster dumped in a countryside lane.
Councils across England spend around £58 million every year cleaning it up.
How illegal is it?
Illegal enough for the culprit to go to prison in some cases. The courts have powers to punish that vary - from fines of up to £50,000, seizing vehicles, and even sending fly-tippers down.
Is it dangerous?
Aside from the fact dumped rubbish can contain dangerous items like broken glass, needles, or asbestos, fly-tipped waste can attract vermin such as disease-carrying rats. It also makes our streets look unsightly and can even damage the environment if toxic chemicals or liquids find their way into the watercourses or soil.
What is the council's responsibility?
The council should remove any fly-tipped waste on public land, though the authority is not responsible for clearing rubbish left on private land or unadopted roads and alleyways.
Blackpool Council said, on average, it spends £300,000 of taxpayers' money every year dealing with fly-tipping.
What do I need to know before I contact the council about fly-tipping?
The following information will help:
- The date, time, and location you saw the dumped waste;
- The type of waste and approximately how much there is (for example, 10 black bin bags and one fridge);
- Details, if you have any, about who left the rubbish there, such as the name, address, or vehicle involved.
It is important not to "disturb the site" in case there is evidence there the council can use to catch the person responsible, the council said.
Touching items could also leave you at risk of being exposed to toxic chemicals, asbestos, or broken glass.
What happens next?
If the fly-tipping is found to be on public land, the council will investigate and clear it, with hazardous waste given priority.
The authority aims to clear waste within a week.
If the fly-tipping is on private or unadopted land, the council will investigate it to make sure it doesn't cause any environmental concern.
If the waste is on land controlled by social housing firm Blackpool Coastal Housing, the council will pass the report on and expect it to clear away the mess itself.
How can I report fly-tipping?
Fly-tipping can be reported to Blackpool Council by clicking here or calling 01253 477477.