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Increased fines of up to £1,000 for environmental crimes

Graffiti spray paint

People caught committing littering, graffiti and fly tipping offences in Chelmsford will now face fines between £500–£1,000.

The fine for breach of household waste duty of care has also increased. Chelmsford City Councillors made the decision to increase the fixed penalty notices for environmental crimes at a Cabinet meeting held on Tuesday 12 September.

Increased penalties for littering, graffiti, fly tipping and household waste duty of care offences

The fine for fly tipping has increased the most from £400 to £1,000. The fines for littering and graffiti offences have increased from £150 to £500. The penalty for breach of household waste duty of care has risen from £400 to £600.

If the fines are paid within 10 days, there will be a discounted rate available.


Offence Fixed penalty amount If paid within 10 days
Littering £500 £150
Graffiti £500 £375
Fly tipping £1000 £750
Breach of Household Waste Duty of Care £600 £450


Residents have a duty of care to dispose of waste correctly

Environmental crimes are unsightly and expensive for Chelmsford City Council to clean up. They are often pre-meditated acts. Increasing the maximum level of fine available aims to act as a deterrent and cause a positive behaviour change.

Residents have a duty of care to ensure their household waste is disposed of correctly. Occupiers of property must take all reasonable measures to ensure that anyone who takes rubbish away from their property has a licence. This reduces the chance of waste ending up in the hands of those who would fly tip it.

If the person or company taking rubbish away is not a licensed contractor, they run the risk of paying twice – a fee to the person taking waste away and a £600 fine from the council if the waste is found fly tipped!

Cllr Rose Moore, Cabinet Member for a Greener and Safer Chelmsford, is keen residents take more responsibility for disposing of their waste items:

“Whether it’s a cigarette butt thrown on the ground, or a mattress you no longer need, if it was previously your property then what happens to it next is still your responsibility. If you discard the cigarette onto the floor, you are littering. And if you pay an odd-jobs-person to take your mattress away and it ends up fly tipped on a country lane, you’re guilty of breach of household waste duty of care. You may think you’ve ‘done your bit’ by paying someone to take it away but failing to do due diligence in hiring an authorised person could lead to a £600 fine for you. And a £1,000 fine for anyone intentionally fly tipping.

“It’s costly for the council to clean up after others. Litter, graffiti and fly tipped items don’t magically disappear – the council collects waste and cleans it up to keep our district looking tidy. Please don’t expect others to clean up after you. We need everyone to take responsibility for their waste and not risk receiving a fine.”

Cllr Rose Moore, Cabinet Member for a Greener and Safer Chelmsford

Litter is no small problem

Litter is a serious problem and must be treated as such.

The City Council launched an anti-litter campaign in August. The campaign is to remind people of their responsibilities when it comes to litter and how we can all play a part in looking after our local environment.

Giant sculptures of the most frequently littered items, including a cigarette butt and crisp packet, are now touring prominent locations in Chelmsford. They serve as a reminder that ‘litter is no small problem’. Increasing the maximum fine available to those caught littering is intended to encourage behaviour change and prevent offences from recurring.

Litter campaign - large crisp packet and cigarette with sign
Giant litter sculptures made from fibreglass currently in Hylands Park

Watch a recording of last night’s Cabinet meeting on YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6CtUb1bTk88.

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Charlotte Maltby
Charlotte Maltby

Charlotte writes about the environment, parks, recycling, business, planning, public realm and democratic services.