Local authorities will be given greater powers to tackle fly-tipping by handing perpetrators with on-the-spot penalties of up to £400.
From 9 May, councils will be able to issue fixed penalty notices of between £150 and £400 as part of a Government crackdown on waste crime.
Defra expects the notices to save councils time and money in punishing offenders by providing a quicker alternative to prosecuting fly-tippers through the courts.
Prosecutions will however remain an option for punishing large-scale waste criminals.
Resources minister Rory Stewart said: “It’s beyond me that anyone feels it is acceptable to simply dump their waste by the road – whether in our cities or our countryside.
“The new fixed penalty notices will provide local authorities with another tool to crack down on the selfish individuals who blight our neighbourhoods and ruin our beautiful landscape.
“The fines will also act as a deterrent, and we will continue to work with local authorities to tackle the root cause of the crime and change the mentality of the few who commit it.”
Environmental charity Keep Britain Tidy said it had been calling for the penalties to be introduced for some time, but warned that more needed to be done.
Chief executive Allison Ogden-Newton said: “The fixed penalty notices give local authorities a new weapon in their fight against the fly-tipping which is blighting our country.
“However, more work is needed if we are to get a grip on this problem, in particular looking at prevention of fly-tipping before it occurs.
“We will shortly be launching a new call to action on fly-tipping, outlining exactly what is required to eradicate this menace once and for all.”
Local Government Assoaiation environment spokesman Cllr Martin Tett described the penalties as ”a big step in the right direction”.
”Councils also need a faster and more effective legal system which means fly-tippers are given hard-hitting fines for more serious offences. Local authorities should also be able to recoup all prosecution costs, rather than be left out of pocket.
“There are a number of additional changes that would help tackle littering and fly-tipping, including sharing more of the responsibility with product producers – such as mattress and chewing gum manufacturers - to contribute to the costs of clear up.”
One local authority in London welcomed the new powers, describing the penalties as “another tool in [its] arsenal”.
Ian Corbett, Newham Council cabinet member for environment and leisure, said: “These £400 fines will be a sharp shock to fly-tippers. We have dedicated ward officers patrolling our streets and I hope this makes people think twice before they go out and dump in the borough.
“Newham has never shied away from taking robust action against those who are intent on ruining our environment and we will pursue prosecutions against those who repeatedly blight our streets with their rubbish.”