Latest Public Sector News

31.05.12

Reduced fines for flouting rubbish laws

Households who put their rubbish out incorrectly will now face smaller fines, as the Government cuts the maximum charges councils can impose, in a bid to promote “common sense”.

The fixed penalty notices, for people who repeatedly overfill bins or put them out at the wrong time, have been reduced from between £75 and £110 to between £60 to £80. Paying the fine early could result in a reduction to £40.

Residents can only be charged if they are deemed to be causing harm to the local amenity, or damaging the area by the way they manage their waste.

Environment secretary Caroline Spelman said: “The threat of a £110 fine for a simple mistake such as putting your bin out an hour early suggests the punishment doesn't fit the crime.

“Today is the first step towards a return to common sense. People should be encouraged to do their bit by putting out their rubbish in the right way, but hefty fines are not the way to do it.”

However, Clyde Loakes, vice chairman of the Local Government Association’s environment board, said: “Councils do not penalise people who make one-off small mistakes like leaving out their bin on the wrong day, so it is important to put this into perspective.

“These fines are part of the package of tools councils use to clamp down on fly-tippers and people who leave unsightly rubbish, creating a blight on their roads, streets and neighbourhoods.

“Fines are only ever issued as an absolute last resort when nuisance neighbours have persistently left waste piled up in the street and wilfully damaged their local environment or refused to co-operate.”

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