Waste enforcement

Waste enforcement responsibilities

Enforcement officers:

  • Educate residents and businesses about their waste disposal duties and responsibilities
  • Investigate reports of dumped rubbish, identify where it has come from and who has dumped it
  • Enforce waste related legislation by issuing penalties and prosecuting individuals and organisations found to be responsible for fly-tipping

Read our Waste Management Enforcement Policy for more information about what our officers do and what actions we can take.

Offences investigated

The following offences are investigated by Enforcement officers:

  • Fly-tipping on open land anywhere in the borough
  • Dropping litter in a street or open public place
  • Leaving refuse on the public highway without authorisation (where a premise has a front garden or forecourt, there will not usually be a good reason to leave it on the public highway)
  • Failure to provide details of commercial refuse collection/disposal arrangements
  • Failure to store waste securely, resulting in waste spillage
  • Failure to comply with our waste regulations
  • Breach of street trading licence conditions
  • Trading on or near a street without a street trading licence

Enforcement action

Appropriate action is taken when evidence of an offence is found.

Action can range from a verbal or written warning, the issue of a fixed penalty notice, penalty charge notice or, in more serious cases, prosecution.   

Penalties for littering

We have the power to issue an instant £300 Fixed Penalty Notice (FPN) to anyone seen dropping litter in a public place. We can issue a £100 Penalty Charge Notice (PCN) to the registered keeper of a vehicle involved in littering.  

Not paying an FPN within 14 days is liable to result in criminal prosecution. Not paying a PCN within 28 days is liable to result in civil recovery action being taken.

Dropping cigarettes is classed as littering. To avoid penalties, use litter bins with built-in ashtrays.

Make an online payment for a FPN or PCN.

Penalties for fly-tipping

We have the power to fine or prosecute people who dump rubbish in the street and our enforcement officers now have the power to issue £1000 on the spot fixed penalty notices for fly-tipping.

Not paying an FPN within 14 days is liable to result in criminal prosecution.

If convicted the maximum penalty at court for fly-tipping is unlimited fine and/or imprisonment.

Vehicles used for fly-tipping can be seized and destroyed, and convicted offenders may be required to do community service.

Make an online payment for a FPN.

Presenting household waste incorrectly

Under Section 34 of the Environmental Protection Act 1990, all occupiers of domestic properties must take reasonable steps to ensure that waste produced on their property is only transferred to an authorised person. For household waste, an authorised person is a refuse collector working on behalf of the council.

Find your recycling and waste collection day

Leaving waste out

If a property has a front garden or driveway, bags should not be placed on the street for collection any time, but placed within your property boundary - by the edge of your driveway or by your gate.

If a property has a front door that opens directly onto the street, waste may only be present on the pavement for collection after 6.30pm the evening prior to collection.

Waste placed actively on the street from premises and left there in such a manner as to cause or contribute to defacement would constitute a positive act of littering. Relying on a hope that the Council will remove this waste at some time in the future should not detract from that.


Fixed penalty notice might be appropriate when bin bags are left on the street for a long period of time, but not if someone leaves their waste out for an hour or so too long, and there are different routes in which bagged waste left on the pavement outside of the collection parameters can be enforced.  

These can be enforced under sections 46, or 87 of the Environmental Protection Act (EPA) 1990, depending on the circumstances.

Section 46 EPA

Section 46 EPA is primarily legalisation that deals with waste receptacle offences but there is provision to issue section 46 notices for incorrectly presented household waste. It should be noted that Notices issued under Section 46 may only be issued to a named occupier.

If bagged waste is found on the public highway after 2pm on the day prior to collection, enforcement action under section 46 EPA 1990 may be taken.

This enforcement should take the form of a formal warning notice – effective for 12 months from date of offence. 

This may be followed by notice of intent to impose a financial penalty – subject to representations and objections to the council within 28 days (beginning with the day after the date on which the notice of intent was sent) in relation to the proposed imposition of a monetary penalty and this will result in a formal review.

If necessary, a final notice incorporating a fixed penalty notice - appeal against this notice may be made to a First Tier Tribunal, within the period of 28 days from the day after the date of the final notice. 

Section 88/87 EPA

The longer incorrectly bagged waste is on the public highway, the more likely they are to cause litter, therefore if bags are found before 2pm on the day prior to collection a FPN under section 87 EPA 1990 may be issued.

Whilst there is no legal right of appeal if the recipient feels an FPN has been unfairly or incorrectly it will be reviewed by a senior officer, this should be sent by email to wastenoticescompliance@wandsworth.gov.uk 

How to report fly-tippers

If you see someone dumping rubbish and are willing to provide a witness statement, please contact us:

Email: flytipwitness@wandsworth.gov.uk
Phone: 020 8734 3032

Witness statements should include as much of the following information as possible:

  • The time, date and location of the fly-tip
  • A vehicle registration number and description
  • A description and/or names and addresses of the people involved
  • Photographs and/or video footage

Do not put yourself or others at risk to get evidence about fly-tippers. Any information given will be treated with the strictest confidence.