Construction waste adding to Brighton & Hove flooding problems

We’re asking builders, tradespeople and residents doing home improvements not to dump building waste down the city’s drains and gullies.

Our Highways Teams have seen an increase in the amount of cement, concrete, plaster and other construction materials in drains, most recently in Matlock Road, Tivoli Road and Poplar Avenue.

This has contributed to blocked drains and gullies resulting in flooded roads and pavements.

Anyone found to be disposing of commercial waste illegally could be issued with a Fixed Penalty Notice of £400 and or face legal prosecution. We may also seek to recover the cost of the damage caused.

Residents can report any incidents of disposing commercial waste illegally to our fly tipping hotline, 01273 295063 which is operational between the hours of 9am and 5pm, Monday to Friday. A voicemail function is available outside of these times.

Read more about Environmental Enforcement in the city.

Clay in a sewer

An example of construction waste in a sewer

Taking responsibility for your waste

For businesses and traders

If you run a business, the recycling and refuse you produce is classified as business waste. 

This is the case even if you run your business at home. 

You may also produce business or trade waste if you work as a mobile trader. This includes working as a gardener or running burger vans.

Businesses must hold a duty of care waste transfer notice. This is also known as a duty of care certificate. This shows us that you dispose of waste legally.

Find out more about disposing of business and trade rubbish on our webpages

For residents

The following items can be taken to our Household Waste Recycling Centres

  • general garden waste
  • timber
  • MDF and wood composites
  • scrap metal
  • engine oil
  • plasterboard - four sheets removed
  • hardcore, rubble, ceramics and soil - six standard rubble bags a month - maximum bag size 55cm x 85cm
  • household hazardous chemicals - must be in a secure container
  • paint

Read more about what you can take to our recycling sites.

Growing problem 

Leader of the Council, councillor Phélim Mac Cafferty said: “Flooding is increasing for a range of reasons from the paving over of gardens to more frequent extreme weather caused by climate change. Whether the problem of flooding gets better or worse in our day-to-day lives comes down to all of us. 

“A small minority of households and businesses are blocking drains with construction waste. This increases the likelihood of further street flooding during heavy rainfall, never mind the real risk to people’s homes. 

“We all have a responsibility to dispose of construction waste responsibly. In the case of those households and businesses that are causing blockages, as a council we will take enforcement action to prevent and deter this from happening.”

Lengthy repair work

Network Protection Enforcement Manager for Southern Water, Stephen Williams said: “Sewer blockages caused by construction debris is a real issue that can cause flooding and major problems in our network and even environmental issues. All of which can impact our customers. 

“We have had several instances of sewers that have required lengthy repairs caused by debris, so we really appreciate the support of businesses and households in avoiding these problems.”