Higher fines for drivers who dump rubbish in wild in France

Fines can vary from €150 to €1,500 depending on the waste and location

Dumping of household waste (including furniture and white goods) in the countryside can now be punished by a fine of up to €1,500 in France
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People who dump large items of rubbish or a vehicle in the countryside in France are now at risk of a fine of up to €1,500, as a ‘class five’ offence.

A decree from June 10 states that dumping rubbish (fly tipping) on the public highway, in a national park, or in a nature reserve, is now a class five (cinquième classe) offence under the Code de la route.

This applies to rubbish including furniture, and household appliances transported using a vehicle. This includes fridges, sofas, wardrobes, etc.

If you deliberately dump items in the street, you can be fined €150, and the fine can be increased to as much as €1,500 by court order depending on the type and quantity of waste, and the location it is dumped (for example, in a nature reserve).

The same penalty applies for dumping a vehicle (for example, if it is old, no longer works, or has been written off in an accident). The mayor of the local town can charge you for the removal and impounding of your vehicle, and can require you (at your expense) to recover and dispose of the vehicle properly.

“The aim is to simplify the recording of these offences and speed up their criminal processing,” said the road safety authority la Délégation de la Sécurité routière.

Dumping vehicles

A class five fine can also apply if you leave your car in a parking space for weeks or months, and you can also be fined in addition for “illegal or obstructive” parking. 

Instead, old vehicles must be sold legally, or disposed of properly at an ‘end-of-life vehicle centre’ (centres de véhicules hors d’usage), formerly known as ‘casses automobiles’.

Household waste and other large items should be disposed of properly at designated waste collection centres that accept them (déchetterie). You can, of course, use a car to do this.

Fly tipping and the illegal, wild dumping of waste has been a hot topic in France in recent years. 

Read also: French towns install cameras to detect illegal rubbish dumping
Read also: French mayor returns 12 bags of rubbish to fly-tipper

Many mayors have taken drastic action against people who have been found to dump waste in the countryside, including charging them high fees for removal, and even dumping the waste in front of their own home.

Some mayors have even installed new CCTV cameras purely in a bid to deter and catch fly tippers.