Ringfencing fly-tipping fines for community benefit

Environment and climate
An image of a council sign warning against littering with fly-tipped waste in the background.

Photograph: Jim Holden

Fines given for fly-tipping, littering and breaches of household waste duty could be reinvested back into local clean-up activities under a new consultation seeking to amend the use of fixed penalty notices.

As trailed in the Prime Minister’s Anti-Social Behaviour Plan, it is the government’s intention that Fixed Penalty Notice receipts for these offences are reinvested locally in clean up and enforcement – meaning perpetrators pay for local councils to continue toughening their approach in future years.

Spending of these receipts by local authorities is already restricted through legislation to a wider set of activities related to these issues.

The NFU has submitted a response to this consultation which was recently announced in the new 'Unleashing Rural Opportunity' paper.

The NFU is also encouraging members to share any incidents of fly-tipping via our online form. Your evidence will help us demonstrate the scale of the problem to local and national government, and strengthen our case for tougher action.

See: Share your fly-tipping incident

2 April 2024

Defra announces further action to tackle fly-tipping

Defra has said that from 1 April 2024, money raised from fixed penalty notices will be be reinvested locally in clean-up and enforcement.

The NFU is urging local authorities to use funds raised from fly-tipping fines to assist with clean ups on private land as well as public land following Defra’s announcement that it will be ringfencing money raised from fixed penalty notices for such activities.

Defra said the changes would see money paid by criminals go directly back into repairing the damage from these crimes or into enforcement efforts to prevent similar incidents from happening again.

Read our response in full.

21 July 2023

Consultation closed

This consultation has now closed.

21 July 2023

NFU submits its response

The NFU has submitted its response to the government's proposals. Read our summary below:

We welcome the Prime Minister’s Anti-social Behaviour Action Plan, and like the government, we would also like to see councils taking a much tougher approach to tackling litter and fly-tipping, utilising their enforcement powers more frequently for more effective punishments that deter criminals dumping waste illegally.

The number of FPNs issued in 2021/22 was 91,000. We questioned if there would be enough fixed penalty notices to generate an amount that would be considered material to the cost of the service.

We would welcome the inclusion of the enforcement functions to be used by local authorities on all land, both publicly and privately managed land.

In our response, we also called for greater consistency across how local authorities, the Environment Agency and the police engage with private land managers who are victims of fly-tipping. We believe it should not be the sole responsibility of the land managers to deal with this crime, when it is a community-wide issue.

In our view, it is imperative that these proposals are not limited to fly-tipping and littering incidents solely on public land.

NFU members can read our response in full at: Consultation on amendments to the use of fixed penalty notices – NFU response

26 June 2023

Defra launches consultation

Defra is looking at introducing further legislation to restrict the use of fixed penalty notice receipts to enforcement and clean-up functions only.

The consultation will seek views to refine the government's understanding of how these receipts are currently spent, and the potential impacts of these proposed new restrictions.

The move would see money paid by those fined funnelled back into enforcement efforts as well as repairing the damage caused by such crimes.

The NFU will be responding to the consultation.

This page was first published on 21 July 2023. It was updated on 02 April 2024.

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  • 1 April 2024: Defra announces that from 1 April 2024, money raised from fixed penalty notices will be be reinvested locally in clean-up and enforcement.
  • 26 June 2023: Defra launches consultation into ringfencing fixed penalty notice receipts for littering, fly-tipping and household waste disposal offences to fund local authorities’ enforcement and clean-up activities.
  • 21 June 2023: NFU submits its response, stating that it is imperative that these proposals are not limited to fly-tipping and littering incidents solely on public land.