Fly Tipping

Fly tipping is the illegal disposal of items onto land with no licence to accept waste. Fly tipping occurs in both urban and rural areas, with hotspots including verges of country lanes, lay-bys and urban gap sites or back alleys.

Different types of waste are fly tipped or ‘dumped’ and can consist of large items of rubbish which should have been disposed of properly (and free of charge for householders) at our Recycling Centres.

Dumping household, industrial and commercial waste illegally is a serious criminal offence that carries a fine of up to £50,000 (unlimited if the case goes to the High Court) or an offender can even be sent to prison. It is also an offence to permit fly tipping.

Fly tipping is often associated with dumping waste from vehicles; in this case the person who owns the vehicle can also be prosecuted, which means that it is possible for a prosecution to occur when only the vehicle, not the driver, is identifiable. The police also have the powers to seize vehicles used for fly tipping.

Instead of fly tipping, use our Recycling Centres across Moray or book a bulky uplift service from us.

Report fly-tipping Information for householders Information for Landowners

Why is fly tipping a problem?

  • Uncontrolled waste disposal can be hazardous to the public who may come in to contact with it eg chemical wastes, electrical items, syringes
  • Environmental damage can result from illegally dumped waste
  • Fly tipping looks unsightly which can have a detrimental effect on the appeal of an area or can harm investment into an area

Cleaning up fly tipping costs council tax payers’ money. Currently Scottish local authorities spend in excess of £8.9 million each year clearing up instances of illegally dumped waste, not to mention the costs incurred by private land owners. 

See below the number of fly-tipping reports Moray Council received between 2018-2022 broken down by financial year and ward/district:

Ward/District 2018 2019 2020 2021 2022
Buckie 43 48 31 22 17
Elgin North 121 100 156 107 80
Elgin South 42 29 36 17 16
Fochabers & Lhanbryde 20 21 31 13 14
Forres 16 28 47 33 18
Heldon & Laich 27 25 29 16 13
Keith & Cullen 35 18 21 13 12
Speyside & Glenlivet 39 18 22 7 10
Total 343 287 373 228 180


If you discover fly tipped waste


  • touch the waste - it may contain syringes, broken glass, asbestos, toxic chemicals or other hazardous substances.
  • disturb the site; there may be evidence that could help identify the fly tippers and lead to their prosecution.


  • visually try to work out what the waste consists of and how much there is.
  • make a note of the day, date and time you saw the tipping, its exact location and whether it is in or near water.

If you see someone fly tipping

Make a note of:

  • how many people are involved and what they look like.
  • what has been tipped - how much and what it looks like.
  • details of any vehicles involved including make, colour and registration number if possible.

National Picture

In Scotland, the main legislation concerning fly tipping is the Environmental Protection Act 1990 (EPA 1990), as amended. The Scottish Flytipping Forum was established with all of the key stakeholders who are affected by fly tipping and the organisations responsible for the investigation and disposal of many fly tipping incidents.

The work of the Forum includes:

  • Development of a national database of fly tipping incidents
  • Directing the national awareness campaign
  • Provision of best practice guidance
  • Training for local authority enforcement officers

The Forum is hosted and chaired by Keep Scotland Beautiful, and members are listed below:

Scottish Government

Keep Scotland Beautiful


Network Rail

National Farmers Union Scotland

Scottish Environmental Services Association

Chartered Institution of Wastes Management

British Transport Police

Crown Office procurator Fiscal service

Scottish Canals

National Trust for Scotland

Police Scotland

Convention of Scottish Local Authorities

Scottish Rural Property and Business Association

Amey Highways

Contact Us

Recycling Hotline

Rate this Page