Dawn In The Surrey Hills

Creating a greener, cleaner Surrey

Surrey Environment Partnership Review April 2019 – March 2020

Activity and achievements

Reducing fly-tipping

SEP Campaign "Check your builder isn't fly-tipping your waste" web bannerFly-tipping is the illegal deposit of waste on land or in water. Local authorities and landowners are responsible for clearing it up and it is punishable by a fine of up to £50,000 or 12 months imprisonment if convicted in a Magistrates’ Court. If convicted in a Crown Court, it can be punishable by an unlimited fine and up to 5 years imprisonment. Other penalties include fixed penalty notices between £150-400 and seizure of a vehicle and/or its contents.

Surrey’s fly-tipping strategy includes three aims:

  • Stimulate a change in behaviour amongst residents, businesses and landowners that helps reduce the amount of fly-tipping in Surrey.
  • Jointly agree the most efficient process for reporting, collection and disposal of illegally dumped waste on public land.
  • Work together to maximise investigation and enforcement resources to ensure we use these in the most cost-effective way.

Changing behaviours

To achieve the first aim of the strategy, Surrey-wide campaigns on fly-tipping are undertaken. As with recycling campaigns they are evaluated to assess their impact and inform planning for the next campaign. The evaluation of the 2018-19 campaign showed that awareness of the campaign was similar to the previous year. As the same creative approach had been used for three years this suggested that a new look and feel was required to achieve greater impact.

The evaluation also showed that while the campaign succeeded in increasing residents’ understanding that they are responsible for their own waste this was still relatively low at 51%. The 2019-20 campaign therefore used a new and impactful creative that focused on this ‘duty of care’ message.

SEP Campaign alternative "Check your builder isn't fly-tipping your waste" web bannerThe target audience for the campaign was residents of Surrey and neighbouring London boroughs. Potential fly-tippers were also targeted with a different creative execution designed to appeal to the typical fly-tipper demographic.

Campaign evaluation highlights included:

  • 61% of residents said the campaign increased their understanding of their responsibilities when they are disposing of household and construction waste, an increase of 10 percentage points and up from 39% when the first campaign was run in 2016.
  • 66% of residents felt the campaign told them lots of or some new things, an increase of 19 percentage points.
  • Residents were asked to rate the campaign for how impactful, appealing, relevant, informative, clear, believable and persuasive it was. The score for every factor increased to its highest level yet for any fly-tipping campaign.
  • 44% of residents said they liked the campaign, an increase of 20 percentage points compared to last year’s campaign.
  • Outdoor poster advertising and online advertising offered the greatest return on investment when comparing cost versus awareness.

Tackling fly-tipping together

fly-tipping from MN runnymede 10th JulyThe efficiency and enforcement elements of the strategy have been delivered through a range of activities.

Defining and recording data

  • An agreed definition for both enforcement and data capture purposes has been adopted across Surrey. In time this will ensure a more accurate picture of the amount of fly-tipping occurring in Surrey to be developed and allow for targeted intervention and enforcement.
  • A report and recommendation for improving the recording of fly-tipping incidents will be published in June 2020.
  • If agreed a potential digital solution will be available for Surrey councils to trial free of charge until the end of 2020.

Enforcement group

  • The network of enforcement officers tackling fly-tipping across Surrey was revitalised, introducing the Environment Agency and Surrey Police Anti-Social Behaviour and Rural Crime Teams to the network to further strengthen the partnerships already in place locally.
  • Quarterly meetings have taken place to facilitate growth of the network, share best practice, discuss ongoing challenges and understand how SEP can support Surrey councils to tackle fly-tipping.
  • Joint enforcement activities took place during Anti-Social Behaviour Week (July 2019) and Rural Crime Week (Oct 2019).
  • The Fly-tipping Reduction Manager also joined the Surrey Harm Reduction Groue ensuring that the SEP Fly-tipping Strategy features as a linked strategy in the Surrey Anti-Social Behaviour and Community Harm Reduction Strategy.


  • Fly dipping or garbage dumping scene.SEP has sponsored two training and networking days which resulted in almost 80 officers receiving training to strengthen the knowledge and investigation skills of the frontline enforcement teams.
  • These days were also attended by colleagues from the Environment Agency and Surrey Police to ensure officers further develop a growing network to tackle fly-tipping across Surrey.
  • SEP also sponsored training for Legal Officers across Surrey to explore the tools and powers available in relation to dealing with fly-tipping as anti-social behaviour as well as environmental crime.
  • Unfortunately, attendance at this event was impacted by the start of the coronavirus pandemic. However, training packs were provided to those who couldn’t attend and the feedback from those who did attend was positive.

Intelligence sharing

  • E-Cins, an intelligence sharing portal that was introduced across Surrey for anti-social behaviour, is now being actively used by fly-tipping enforcement officers to tackle fly-tipping.
  • All frontline officers have been trained and have access to the system.
  • The system is also accessed by Surrey Police and the Environment Agency.
  • Within the system a digital network has been created to ensure fly-tipping related intelligence can be shared swiftly across Surrey and beyond.
  • In addition, a best practice section of the system allows enforcement officers to seek and share guidance with each other to encourage a consistent enforcement approach.

See also

Surrey’s target


70% of Surrey’s waste should be recycled.