Information about litter, waste, fly tipping and other environmental crimes
Find out what the law says about litter, waste, fly tipping and other types of environmental crime, and all the enforcement work we do to help keep Middlesbrough clean, green and safe.
Illegal tipping of waste or "fly tipping" ruins our parks and open spaces. Our Environmental Crimes Unit investigate fly tipping incidents and we prosecute where the evidence permits. The maximum penalty in court is a £50,000 fine. Middlesbrough Council will remove fly tipping within 24 hours of notification on a normal working day.
The Council may take enforcement action if you do not present your waste for collection correctly therefore it is importance you follow the Councils waste collection procedure. If you are unsure of how or on what day of the week you should present your waste for collection or if you would like to purchase a new wheeled bin contact the Environment Services Centre on 01642 728202.
If someone offers to take away your waste you must ask them if they are a registered waste carrier and, if they say they are, you must ask them to produce proof. If they cannot produce proof you must not employ them as it is against the law to do so. Waste given to illegal carriers often ends up fly tipped, and if the waste is traced back to you then you could be prosecuted with a maximum £5,000 fine.
You can find out the details of registered waste carriers by calling the Environment Agency on 08708 506506 or follow the link: http://www2.environment-agency.gov.uk/epr/search.asp
Waste Duty of Care
For more information please visit the Business section of this website
Illegal storage, treatment and disposal of waste
Section 33 of the Environmental Protection Act 1990 controls the storage, treatment and disposal of waste. It is an offence to store, treat and dispose of waste unless it is done in accordance with an Environmental permit issued by the Environment Agency.
It is also an offence to dispose of waste in a manner likely to cause pollution of the environment or harm to human health. This part of the law is most commonly applied to the burning of waste. These are two very serious offences, and each one carries a maximum penalty of a £50,000 fine and 12 months in prison.
There is a booming trade in the transport of all kinds of waste, especially building waste and scrap metal. Due to the high cost of disposal because of increases in landfill tax, this waste can end up fly tipped. Many of the people involved in the waste transport business are not registered waste carriers.
It is an offence to transport "controlled waste" (household waste, commercial waste, industrial waste or a mixture of the three) as part of a business or otherwise with a view to profit without being registered to carry waste.
We carry out regular patrols with the Police. We stop vehicles which are being used to transport waste and we search them for evidence of illegal waste transport. We can also demand that drivers produce copies of registration certificates. The maximum penalty for this offence on conviction is a maximum fine of £5,000. A person who fails to produce a registration certificate when required to do so may avoid prosecution by paying a fixed penalty of £300 within 14 days, with a reduced penalty of £180 if paid within10 days.
It's an offence (subject to a few exceptions) to carry waste as part of a business unless you are registered with the Environment Agency. Illegal waste carriers may be involved in criminal activity including fly tipping and theft of valuable metals, and they often use vehicles in dangerously bad condition putting other road users at risk.
Middlesbrough Council works with the Police and the Vehicle & Operator Services Agency to stop and search vehicles and to prosecute illegal carriers. Please report any suspicious vehicles to us, giving as much detail as you can.
Cleaning dumped waste from land
Where waste has been illegally deposited on land, Middlesbrough Council has the power to get it cleared away. We serve a legal notice on the occupier of the land (or the landowner where the land is unoccupied or where the occupier cannot be found) giving at least 21 days to clear the waste from the site. If the work is not completed we can carry out the work "in default" of the notice and claim our costs.
It is an offence to fail to comply with one of these legal notices, and the maximum penalty on conviction is a £5,000 fine, plus £500 a day for every day the offence continues after conviction.
In Middlesbrough we are proud of the improvements we have made to our streets, and we take a tough line on litter by enforcing the law against anyone we catch spoiling our town. Litter is unsightly and it's against the law. If you drop litter you risk prosecution, with a maximum £2,500 fine in court. Prosecution can be avoided by paying a fixed penalty of £80 (£50 if paid within 10 days).
Litter on the street
Certain kinds of businesses are associated with large amounts of litter on the street, particularly take-aways and shops selling food and drink. Where such litter is a significant problem Middlesbrough Council can take action by serving a "street litter control notice" on the person running the premises. The notice allows Middlesbrough Council to set rules for keeping all land within 100 metres of the front of the premises free of litter.
It is an offence to fail to comply with a street litter control notice, and the maximum fine is £2,500 in court. Prosecution can be avoided by paying a fixed penalty of £110, falling to £60 if paid within 10 days.
Litter clearing notices
Windblown litter has a habit of accumulating in places like hedgerows and courtyards. This can be unsightly, and Middlesbrough Council can deal with it using a "litter clearing notice" which is served on the occupier of the land affected by the litter. The litter clearing notice gives the person on whom it is served at least 28 days to clear the litter, and to keep it clean thereafter. Failure to comply with a litter clearing notice is an offence with a maximum £2,500 fine. Prosecution can be avoided by paying a fixed penalty of £110, falling to £60 if paid within 10 days.
Middlesbrough Council used to clear more than 500 illegal posters a week from walls, lamp posts and street furniture, at a cost of many thousands of pounds a year. Fly posting is unsightly and adds to the fear of crime.
Under the law it is an offence to display an unauthorised advertisement and the maximum penalty on prosecution is a £2,500 fine.
Distribution of free printed matter
It is an offence to give out free printed matter (nightclub flyers, free newspapers, store offer leaflets etc.) in the Middlesbrough Free Printed Matter Distribution Area without consent. The Area includes the town centre, Riverside Stadium, Cannon Park and Linthorpe Road to the Cenotaph. The maximum penalty on conviction is a £2,500 fine. Prosecution can be avoided by paying a fixed penalty of £80 (£50 if paid within 10 days).
You can see a map of the Free Printed Matter Distribution Area by clicking on the link to the right under the 'Downloads' section.
To apply for consent to distribute the printed matter contact our Licensing team on 01642 729779.
Abandoned shopping trolleys
Abandoned trolleys are an environmental eyesore. They are found in parks and open spaces, back alleys, footpaths, cycleways and becks. Trolleys dumped in becks obstruct the flow of water and can lead to flooding. We spend many hours and thousands of pounds every year clearing trolleys from our streets and watercourses. Middlesbrough Council has adopted laws which allow us to charge the supermarkets for all the costs we incur dealing with their abandoned trolleys.
The Council is in the process of carrying out a review of the operation of this scheme. When the scheme was introduced the Council set a charge of £110 plus VAT for each trolley claimed by its owner, and charged an additional £20 for disposal of unclaimed trolleys, making a total of £130 plus VAT. This charge has been applied throughout the operation of the scheme. The Council has reviewed its costs and propose to amend the charge per trolley to £66 plus VAT with annual adjustments for inflation. It is proposed this charging scheme will apply for five years unless a significant change in circumstances means an earlier review is required.
The Council would be grateful for your input to the consultation process, please click on the link below to submit your views.
Please report all abandoned trolleys to us.
Fixed penalty notices
Middlesbrough Council has adopted a strategy for issuing fixed penalty notices under the provisions of the Clean Neighbourhoods and Environment Act 2005. The strategy document can be downloaded by clicking on the link in the downloads area on the right side of this page, and it sets out our procedures for enforcing the law using fixed penalties.
We are currently developing an online payment facility that will allow members of the public to pay a fixed penalty notice over the web. This facility is currently undergoing testing and will be made available very soon.
Middlesbrough Council's Enviro-Crimes Unit deals with the following types of vehicles:
- Abandoned vehicles
- Untaxed vehicles
- Two or more vehicles parked for sale on a road within 500m of each other which are being sold as part of a business
- Vehicles that are being repaired on a road (exemptions apply)
You can report nuisance vehicles by contacting Middlesbrough Council on 01642 726001 or via email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Welcome to the Contaminated land section of the Middlesbrough Council website. Middlesbrough's history as a world centre for iron, steel and chemicals has left a legacy of old industrial sites, some of which may still bear the traces of pollution arising from their use. The vast majority of these sites are located in the north of the Town, close to the River Tees. Within this section you can find out about the work we do to inspect land for contamination and to help ensure that old industrial land is regenerated. You can find out more by downloading a copy of Middlesbrough Council's Contaminated Land Strategy. Middlesbrough Council has a detailed Historic land use Register, a collection of old maps and documents showing what land in Middlesbrough was used for.
Land contamination and the planning process
We can get old industrial sites inspected and cleaned up as part of the planning process. We can attach conditions to planning permissions requiring that a detailed site risk assessment be carried out, and that any work shown to be necessary to clean up the site be carried out before the approved use commences.
Making enquiries about contaminated land
We have a great deal of information about past land use and about land contamination. You can contact us to discuss your specific requirements, but there may be a charge for providing some information. This charge is an administration charge and covers the time we spend researching enquiries.
The law on contaminated land
Middlesbrough Council has a duty to inspect all land within our area to see if it is contaminated. We investigate land to see if, as a result of substances in, on or under the land, there is a "significant possibility of significant harm" or SPOSH.
We have legal powers to get land cleaned up if it turns out to be contaminated.
For full details of what we do and how we do it, see our contaminated land strategy by clicking on the link to the right.