Managing fly-tipping/bin store misuse in communal environments

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By Alan Draper | Aug 2022

Fly-tipping is defined as the ‘illegal deposit of any waste onto land that does not have a licence to accept it’. It is a serious criminal offence for which you can be prosecuted. The courts have various powers available to them to tackle fly-tipping, including imprisonment, unlimited fines and an order to deprive rights to a vehicle used to commit the offence

Sometimes, tenants/leaseholders moving out of leasehold developments may leave unwanted items such as mattresses, electrical items, broken white goods, unwanted furniture in the bin store; Make no mistake, this is STILL fly tipping.

At the larger end of the scale fly-tipping can involve third parties fly tipping large amounts of waste at your site and, whilst this article will provide some tips for dealing with this, the main focus of this article is to try to mitigate poor leaseholder/tenant behaviour.

In England, Wales and Scotland, the main legislation governing fly tipping in this context is the Environmental Protection Act 1990 (EPA 1990), Sections 33, 34 and 59.

Tips to reduce the risk of fly tipping

  1. Signage

This can be helpful signage in terms of advising tenants as to use of the bin stores and what needs to be placed in each bin. It could also be to inform residents of bulky waste removal services which most councils operate at very low cost.

It can also take the form of notices pointing out that leaving items outside the bins is a breach of the environmental protection act 1990.

  1. Fake CCTV cameras and accompanying signage

This will act as a deterrent, particularly for third parties that may be considering dumping large amounts of waste at the site. You could implement CCTV, however, this would be costly both to install and manage as it would involve potentially viewing hours of CCTV footage.

  1. Curtain twitching

We encourage residents to “grass thy neighbour”. If you witness a tenant/leaseholder dumping large items of waste outside of the bins you could either report them to your managing agent or the local authority at https://www.gov.uk/report-flytipping

  1. Monitor rental websites

Many is the time I have seen a sofa/mattress or other item of furniture in a bin store that can also be seen on rental adverts prior to tenants moving out. www.rightmove.co.uk has proved particularly fruitful in this regard.

  1. Regularly change access codes to bin stores

This will mitigate against the risk of third parties dumping items

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