Reporting litter (which includes dog fouling) and fly tipping helps local authorities and landowners to keep Devon clean because it allows them to react to problems quickly. This reduces the opportunity for more waste to be added, helps identify problem areas or individuals, and ensures that valuable evidence which can be used for investigation is not lost.
In most cases, littering and fly tipping will become the responsibility of local authorities or landowners, but if you see problems on motorways or major A roads you should report the problem to National Highways.
‘Litter’ generally refers to less than a bin bag full and can be reported to your local authority, or if you litter pick yourself, small amounts can be put into street litter bins or your own domestic containers. Dog fouling is also classed as ‘litter’.
Please note householders are not allowed to put their own domestic waste into street litter bins which can lead to overflowing and litter. Unless otherwise stated, bagged dog waste can be put into any public litter bin when out-and-about.
‘Fly tipping’ generally refers to bulky items (such as an old fridge) or larger amounts of rubbish originating from somewhere else and dumped.
You have 4 main options for reporting fly tipping:
- If rubbish is causing an obstruction on the highway, or large amounts of rubbish are being dumped there and then, call 999
- If the fly tipping incident is Big, Bad or Nasty – large scale (more than 20 tonnes, lorry load), contains hazardous waste (more than 5 cubic metres of asbestos, or 75 litres of potentially hazardous waste in drums/containers) or fly-tipping by organised criminal groups – and you think it could be a danger to life or the environment, please contact the Environment Agency.
- If you find litter or fly tipping on public or private land, please contact the relevant local authority using the links below. Incidents on private land will be referred to the landowner.
- If you have information about fly tipping (or other crime) and do not want to report to your local authority, you can report anonymously to CrimeStoppers (0800 555111)
There are also third party reporting apps, such as ClearWaste but be aware that where operational arrangements between the local authority and app provider are not in place, response times can be slower. Always best to report direct to the local authority.
For all littering or fly-tipping incidents reported, the following information will help;
- Location (via online reporting form and include what3words reference code if possible)
- Date, day and time when you noticed the problem
- A description of what was found and the quantity
- A photo or video
If you witnessed fly tipping taking place, it would also help us to know:
- How many people were involved, what did they do and was a vehicle involved?
- Did anybody else witness the fly tipping? If so, who?
- Do you have any footage of the incident, registration number or identity details?
Please do not move or open bags or containers as fly tipping could;
- be harmful (contain chemicals or asbestos)
- include sharp or infectious items in bags or containers, which may also be incorrectly labelled
- include contaminated soils
Fly-tippers know they are doing something illegal and do not care about your safety, wildlife, livestock or the environment, so reporting the incident is the most helpful thing you can do.
Please do not clear fly tipping yourself and be aware that this waste cannot be taken to Recycling Centres for the risks noted above.