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Fly-tipping is a criminal offence, and an issue that we are tackling on a day-to-day basis. Find out more about what fly-tipping is, and how you can help to reduce it, below.

What is fly-tipping?

Fly-tipping is the act of illegally dumping waste in a public area. This includes putting your unwanted items outside your house for passers-by to collect, dumping items in and around bin areas, leaving things outside a charity shop or leaving items for a scrap metal collector.

Fly-tipping not only spoils the look of your area, but also damages the environment, creates a health risk and costs money to clear.

Is fly-tipping a crime?

Yes, fly-tipping is a serious criminal offence, punishable by up to 12 months in prison or a fine of up to £50,000.

Your local authority will carry out criminal investigations into fly-tipping that has been reported on public and private land, and will seek prosecution where possible.

As well as the general public, organisations are subject to laws about disposing of waste. Builders and tradespeople are required to have a licence to carry waste or use a licensed carrier to remove waste from their jobs. If you employ a builder to work on your home you must take reasonable steps to check that they are disposing of your waste correctly.

How should I dispose of unwanted bulky items?

The best option for disposing of your bulky items such as furniture and appliances is to, wherever possible, recycle, rehome or reuse your unwanted items. Here are some ideas for how you can dispose of unwanted items:

- Dispose of your waste for free at a Household Waste Recycling Centre. Find your nearest waste recycling centre in Hertfordshire here.

- If you cannot get the item(s) to a recycling centre, you can use a bulky collection service for a fee. You can find out more about this service in Watford here.

- You can rehome your items, either by selling them on websites like Gumtree or eBay or giving them away for free on websites like Freecycle.

- You can also donate your items to a charity shop. Here are a few organisations local to Watford who might be interested:

National Animal Welfare Trust Charity Shop - 02089 500 177 

9Lives Furniture - 01923 718 666

The New Hope Trust - 01923 210 680  

How can I report fly-tipping in my area?

As well as disposing of your own waste responsibly, you can report fly-tipping to help tackle it.

If you see items that have been fly-tipped in your area, please report them to us by calling 0800 218 2247 and to your local authority, so that people who are caught can be prosecuted.

What is Watford Community Housing doing to reduce fly-tipping?

As part of the Safer Watford group, Watford Community Housing is working with Watford Borough Council, Hertfordshire Police, the Police and Crime Commissioner and Veolia to create cleaner community areas.

We also run campaigns, create signs, give advice on disposal and occasionally run events such as clean-up days to discourage fly-tipping.