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Picture of seagulls breaking bin bags presented for early collection

North Devon Council is launching a campaign to raise awareness amongst residents and businesses about activities that are considered flytipping, even when carried out unwittingly.

Putting bins out early, placing domestic or trade waste in public litter bins and dumping waste in another person’s bin, can all amount to acts of flytipping.

These often unintentional acts of flytipping are called  ‘slytipping’ by the council. Slytipping incorporates activities that residents and businesses may think are acceptable, but in the eyes of the law are not. It includes:

  • presenting additional waste, known as side waste, next to your usual black bin collection (unless advised by the council in advance that it will be permitted as an exception)
  • early or late presentation of black bins or recycling
  • dumping waste in someone else's bin
  • dumping domestic or trade waste in public litter bins
  • dumping trade waste as domestic waste 
  • dumping waste in a collection point that is not your own 

Flytipping is a criminal offence, punishable by a fine up to £50,000 or 12 months imprisonment if convicted at a Magistrates' Court. If the offence goes onto the Crown Court and leads to a conviction, it can attract an unlimited fine and up to five years imprisonment.

Lead member for the Environment at North Devon Council, Councillor Netti Pearson, says: "Everyone who produces waste whether, as an individual or a business, has a legal duty of care to take reasonable measures to make sure it is disposed of properly. A person or business may be guilty of a flytipping offence if their waste is found to have been dumped, even if the dumping was carried out by someone else, so it's essential to make sure you carry out the proper checks about your waste disposal. For householders, making the most of black bin collections, recycling as much waste as possible, using litter bins properly and arranging bulky waste collections when needed, ensures proper disposal of their waste. For a business arranging trade waste collections to dispose of waste makes complying with the law straightforward. 

"We want to raise awareness of what slytipping is so residents and businesses are able to see it for exactly what it is and do the right thing to protect themselves and our beautiful district from the environmental damage flytipping causes." 

More information about flytipping including what is is, what penalties it carries and how to avoid common mistakes is available on the council website: 

Cases of suspected flytipping can be reported to the council online: or by calling 01271 388870. Residents and businesses are asked to follow the call to action of the council’s ‘Clear Messages’ campaign, which slytipping awareness is part of, aiming to fight environmental crime across North Devon: ‘challenge it, report it, change it’. 

More information about what waste items go in which bin, box or bag and what can be recycled can be found on the waste and recycling pages of the council website:

More information is also available about the council's trade waste collection service for anybody who operates a business or manages a holiday home on the council website or by contacting a member of the trade waste team direct on 01271 318508 or 01271 318509  to discuss current or future waste requirements.