'Heavy-handed' bin fines face axe
Sunday 15 January 2012
Householders will no longer face fines for making "innocent mistakes" when putting out their bins under plans being announced by the Government this week.
Ministers are launching a consultation on moves to prevent councils from imposing bin fines of up to £1,000 on people who overfill their bins or accidentally put them out on the wrong day.
Under the proposed changes, local authorities would only be allowed to issue fines if they can prove residents are causing a "harm to local amenity" by putting out their rubbish incorrectly.
The tighter rules would still allow councils to take action against householders who cause problems for their neighbours or the local environment by the way they dispose of their rubbish, the Environment Department (Defra) said.
Environment Secretary Caroline Spelman said: "Heavy-handed bin fines have for too long been used to punish people for innocent mistakes. We are now consigning them to the scrap heap of history.
"We want to see people helping us to boost recycling rates by putting out their rubbish correctly, but bullying them with fines is not the way to do it.
"This consultation will mean that only those causing real problems for their community will get punished."
The move was first promised last summer in the Government's long-awaited waste review, which was dominated by accusations that ministers had performed a U-turn on weekly bin collections.
Despite calls by the Tories for a return to weekly bin rounds, lost in many areas as councils try to save money and boost recycling, the review did not include measures to force them to bring back the more frequent collections.
Local authorities are currently waiting for details of Communities Secretary Eric Pickles's pledge - announced before the Conservative Party conference last autumn - to make £250 million funding available for councils who retain or return to weekly bin collections.
Defra said that to give residents relief over bin fines before the new law was brought in, waste and recycling minister Lord Taylor was writing to all councils about plans for interim reductions in penalties.
Fixed penalties currently ranging from £75 to £110 will be reduced to £60-£80 with a discounted rate of £40 for early payment.
- 1 'Not suppost to cry': 9-year-old lists the worst things about being a boy
- 2 Lee Evans announces his retirement from comedy on The Jonathan Ross Show
- 3 Iggy Azalea responds to Eminem rape lyrics: 'I'm bored of old men threatening young women'
- 4 These grandmas smoking weed for the first time are wonderful
- 5 Pastafarian former porn star Asia Lemmon allowed to wear colander in driving licence photo
Duchess of Alba dead: Billionaire Spanish duchess who lived life by her own rules, dies at 88
New York snowstorm: Death toll rises to 10 as residents battle with further snowfall
These grandmas smoking weed for the first time are wonderful
Chelsea balcony collapse: Two people dead and six injured in London
Woman opens professional cuddling shop – gets 10,000 customers in first week
Rochester by-election: Ukip gains second MP as Tory defector Mark Reckless holds seat
'Muslims pre-date Columbus in discovering America,' says Turkish president Erdogan
Rochester by-election: Labour MP Emily Thornberry resigns after posting white van and England flags tweet
France 'blocks' Russian sailors from boarding a warship
Former Tory PM Sir John Major says 'we would not have an NHS without migrants'
Revealed: How the world gets rich – from privatising British public services
£8 - £12 per hour: Recruitment Genius: To assist a young family with the care ...
£20000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Customer Service Executive is required...
£55000 - £70000 per annum: Argyll Scott International: My client, a world lead...
Negotiable: Argyll Scott International: My client, a world leading services pr...