Are Fines for Overfilling Bins Just Wheelie Harsh?
Another week, another set of wheelie bins rules and penalties issued by councils. Increasing numbers of residents are being warned that they could face a £2,500 fine and a criminal conviction if they overfill their bins, put them out too early, or leave them out for too long after collection.
Councils get tough
Stoke-on-Trent City Council has written to residents who regularly flout the rules on wheelie bins, warning them that they could face a Community Protection Notice. These notices came into force as part of the Anti-Social Behaviour, Crime, and Policing Act of 2014, and failure to comply with a notice could result in a court appearance or a fine.
Tameside Council in Greater Manchester is one of the other local authorities which has started taking similar action.
What do residents say?
Many residents are angry as they perceive that their council tax money is being spent on issuing ‘threats’. However, the councils in question have responded by saying that residents they spoke to were largely in agreement with their zero-tolerance approach to the improper use of bins.
How can you avoid a fine?
To stop your bin getting too full, follow these tips;
- Use reusable bags when you are shopping, travelling, or packing lunches
- Choose products that are returnable, reusable, or refillable instead of single-use items wherever possible
- Avoid individually wrapped products, snack packs, and single-serve containers.
- Buy products like laundry detergents in concentrate forms.
- Compost your food scraps and garden waste.
- Sign up for the mail preference service to reduce the amount of junk mail you get
- Buy recycled items where possible.
- Use waste paper for shopping lists or leave it by the phone to make notes
Safe and secure bins
The councils in question might have a point when they are asking people not to leave their bins out overnight. Bins can be stolen, set on fire, or used by would-be thieves to gain access to properties. Don’t put your bin out too early for collection, and take the bin in as soon as possible after the collection. Take your neighbour’s bin in too if you spot it out in the street. Keep your bin behind a secure gate if possible, but not too close to your property as it is an arson/burglary risk.