The fly-tip in Church Lane, Shadoxhurst

An Ashford Borough Council investigation of a fly-tip of household waste in a quiet country lane in Shadoxhurst ended with a Bethersden resident being issued with a £400 Fixed Penalty Notice (FPN) after admitting paying a complete stranger to dispose of their rubbish.

On 4 February 2024 Ashford’s Environmental Enforcement team was alerted to the fly-tip in Church Lane, Shadoxhurst. It included a grey crushed velvet divan bed base and headboard, five large bags of household waste including cardboard, clothes and Christmas bags.

Sifting through the rubbish, evidence was found addressed to a person living in Bethersden. During an interview under caution with the team, the resident confirmed they passed the waste over to a man in a van, paying £30 cash.

The resident told officers that they did not check if the stranger held an Environment Agency Waste Carriers licence and did not receive a receipt, invoice or waste transfer note from him. After admitting failing in their duty of care to carry out the relevant checks the resident was issued with a Fixed Penalty Notice of £400.

A spokesman for Ashford’s Environmental Enforcement team said that despite ongoing publicity about fly-tipping, householders continue to trust “complete strangers” to dispose of their waste without asking for proof that they are licensed to do so, or obtaining a proper receipt for the transaction.

“It is vital that householders adhere to their Duty of Care and always ask to see the Waste Carriers Environment Agency licence. Get a receipt or invoice for any payments of services made and always ensure that it has the full contact details of the service provider.

“If your waste is fly-tipped and we discover that you have failed carry out these necessary checks then you face a Fixed Penalty Notice and the cost of these is increasing from 1 April.”

Legal duty of care
Households and also businesses have a legal duty of care when it comes to what happens to their waste. Before using someone to dispose of your rubbish you must carry out checks to ensure that the waste collectors are registered with the Environmental Agency and carry an authorised licence.

Beware rogue waste carriers

The Ashford team warn that fly-tippers often target households via social media or local advertising, luring customers in with cheap rates to dispose of unwanted furniture, building rubble or garden waste. But these unlicensed waste carriers often simply dump the waste wherever they can get away with it, including in Ashford’s country lanes.

Householders or small businesses found to be using these rogues to dispose of their waste can be prosecuted by the council. Failure to pay may result in court action. You can check whether someone is licensed to carry waste by calling the Environment Agency on 03708 506506 or visit their website at:     

It also helps if householders receive a written receipt or transfer note, including contact details, description of waste removed and details of where the waste is being taken to

Report fly-tipping

Many of the leads that end with offenders being caught come from residents alerting the Council’s team to fly-tipping incidents by using the Report It page on our website – see

Following the passing of new Government legislation, the maximum penalties for fly-tipping are increasing from 1 April. From this date Fixed Penalty Notices for fly-tipping rise from £400 to £1,000, while FPNs for failing in a householder’s duty of care to carry out the relevant checks are increasing from £400 to £600. The current system of reducing the penalty for prompt payment is being discontinued from 1 April.

By Ed

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