Council says sorry for waste paper fine threat

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The Independent Online

A council apologised to a teacher today after they threatened to prosecute her for leaving a bag of waste paper next to a full recycling bin.

Vivienne Foster, 61, was accused by Nottingham City Council of fly-tipping after she left the carrier bag of waste paper next to a set of recycling bins outside her local shops.

Paper is not collected from Ms Foster's home in Sherwood Rise and she had left the bag next to the bins because they were full.

She had planned to pick the carrier bag up as she returned from a dental appointment but forgot.

The council traced her as a piece of paper in the bag had her name and address on it.

The council then wrote to Ms Foster threatening to take her to court unless she accepted a fixed penalty notice or formal caution.

But the authority has now backed down.

Andy Vaughan, its director of environmental services, said: "We apologise to Ms Foster for the initial treatment she received in respect of this matter and the distress this may have caused.

"After reviewing the circumstances involved, the council has decided not to take any further action.

"We do, however, have a commitment to become England's cleanest major city in 2011 so we will continue to catch and prosecute offenders."

Ms Foster told the Nottingham Evening Post: "We are talking about a little plastic bag with pieces of paper in, not homicide.

"People have been made ill over this sort of thing, and people who are essentially law-abiding are being bullied in this way, and I think it's wrong."