Hefty bin fines cut

Published on Wednesday, 30 May 2012 09:21
Posted by Scott Buckler

Hefty fines of more than £100 for small mistakes such as leaving your bin lid open have been cut under changes to the law brought in by Defra today.

New rules coming in today reduce the maximum fines under the current fixed penalty notice system that councils can give out to householders for overfilling their bin or accidentally putting their rubbish out an hour too early.

These fines have been reduced from a maximum of £110 to as little as £40.

Announcing the changes, 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.”

Defra is also pursuing a longer-term law change that will remove the threat of bin fines for anyone who makes an innocent mistake such as putting out their waste an hour too early or leaving their bin lid open. The move would mean that fines would only be available if a householder is causing ‘harm to local amenity’ by putting out their rubbish in the wrong way. Councils could still take action against people who cause problems for their neighbours or the local environment by not managing their rubbish properly, without the same threat applying to people that make innocent mistakes that have no impact on their local area.

A consultation on this change was carried out earlier this year and the responses are currently being considered.

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