Fly tipping can blight our countryside and natural environment. It is an offence to deposit waste other than at a licensed disposal site or exempted disposal centre: any person doing so can be prosecuted.

Householders are responsible for ensuring that the waste produced on their property is only transferred to an authorised person, such as:

  • district council waste collectors or their contracted collectors;
  •  a registered waste carrier or;
  • a waste site that is appropriately licensed with NIEA.

Section 5 of the Waste and Contaminated Land (Northern Ireland) Order 1997 applies.

Neighbourhood Environment Officers investigate fly tipping occurrences and when it is not possible to identify the person dumping there may be evidence leading back to the source of the waste. In these cases, a householder is asked to provide evidence that they have met their duty of care in disposing of their waste.

When paying a third party to remove the waste a householder must use an appropriately registered waste carrier. The officer will ask to see the completed Waste Transfer Note from the carrier. This should be retained by the householder for 2 years.

Duty of Care - Obligations as a Householder

When your waste is collected by your district council (or their contractor) they will already be registered as a waste carrier. You do not need to check their details. You are also not required to exchange paperwork with them.

It is your responsibility to ensure that any waste produced on your property (e.g. building work, garden waste/trees cut down) is only given to someone who is authorised to take that waste. In order to do this, you must check that the person/company is appropriately registered as a waste carrier. If you are transferring that waste yourself, you must ensure that it is taken to an appropriately licensed/permitted/exempted waste site.

You should confirm that the registration or permit or exemption is valid by checking the DAERA public register: Registered waste carriers / transporters | Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs ( or by contacting DAERA.

Only after you have confirmed such proof should you give your waste to them. If they say that they are not registered to carry that waste, you should check with DAERA whether they are required to be. You should store your waste safely, without causing harm or pollution to the environment while it is awaiting collection.

If you give your waste to a friend or neighbour to dispose of, you need to ensure that they will be taking the waste to a site with a waste management licence or exemption eg a local civic amenity site/household recycling centre. Provided they are not carrying your waste with a view to profit they do not need to be registered as a waste carrier in order to carry it.

In Ards and North Down, access to our Household Recycling centres is by appointment only.  When booking, you will be advised what type of waste is accepted at each site.

In some circumstances a tradesperson may take waste away under your direction eg replacement of an old washing machine. As it is the you that decided that you do not want the items the tradesperson is considered to be taking away your waste and it is likely they will be required to be a registered waste carrier. You must check whether they are registered to carry the waste that they are removing, and if they are not you can check whether they should be registered to carry your waste with DAERA.