UK Daily Mail
Monday, Aug 4, 2008
Householders who put too much rubbish in their bins face tougher punishments than shoplifters and drunken louts.
Environment Secretary Hilary Benn has backed on-the-spot fines of up to £110 for those who overfill their bins, leave them out too early, or put out extra sacks of rubbish alongside them.
The price of defying rubbish regulations is £30 higher than the £80 fixed penalty fine given to shoplifters or those involved in drunken disorder in city centres.
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The confirmation that Labour has been putting pressure on town halls and their bin police comes after three years of rapid growth in the number of fines handed out to residents for ‘littering’ – the offence committed by those who infringe strict wheelie bin rules.
Around 20,000 tickets for breach of rubbish collection rules are thought to have been issued in 2006, the latest year for which figures have been released. Tickets usually demand fines of £100 or £110.
Legislation covering on-the-spot fines for bin offences says they should be at least £75, but lays down no upper limit.
The Government has always insisted that the upper levels of bin fines were a matter for local councils to decide, but yesterday the Environment Department confirmed that ‘ enforcement’ guidance laid down for councils from Whitehall has set the £110 level.
A spokesman for Defra said: ‘The guidance is not new. It sets fines at between £75 and £110.’
This article was posted: Monday, August 4, 2008 at 4:00 am