Ridiculous new bin laws
This July was supposed to have seen an end to ridiculous bin rules. Eric Pickles and the might of central government were supposed to have stamped out barmy council rules over how long you could leave the bin out - or slapping you with a fine for putting too much into your wheelie bin.
But Southampton Council has flown in the face of what seemed like an eminently sensible rule, and announced plans to bring in a raft of new bin laws.
In July this year Eric Pickles was celebrating the end of heavy-handed bin fines. He said new central government tests for laws would ensure that people would no longer be fined for minor infringements of bin rules.
He announced: "For too long barmy bin rules have allowed local authorities to slap fines on law-abiding people who make innocent mistakes.... We're bringing common sense back and reining in the town hall bin bullies."
So it has come as something of a surprise that Southampton Council has decided to lay down new bin laws.
According to a report in the Daily Mail, residents could be fined £100 if they fail to take their empty bin back to their home after collection day. New rules will also mean that anyone who fills their bin so full that the lid won't close will have the entire bin left full by bin-men.
Meanwhile, those who leave an extra bag beside the bin will find it put into the empty bin by refuse collectors. And those who put the wrong items into their bin will simply see it left behind until they mend their ways.
The council argues that it hasn't signed off the measures year, but that the sanctions would only be a 'last resort'. It added that the plan was to collect some bins where the lid couldn't be closed, but where it wasn't safe to do so, the bin would be left until it was safe.
However, you could ask whether it's so much more trouble to pick a bag up and sling it in the lorry - as opposed to making a point by putting it into the homeowner's wheelie bin - or leaving the whole bin behind.
Barmy over binsIt seems that the barmy bin law debate will never die. We reported last month on the council which doesn't collect from wheelie bins, but asks for residents to leave bags by the road. One pensioner put his rubbish out in a bin to protect it from foxes, and was told this wasn't permitted. Then he left the rubbish bag on top of his bin and was told it wasn't collected because of health and safety concerns.
Earlier this year it was the turn of homeowners in Wiltshire who discovered that their bins wouldn't be collected because some homes in their estate were still under construction and the council decided it was too dangerous.
And it's not just councils who go batty over bins. Just last week we reported on the neighbours who had fallen out over where one man had left his wheelie bins, and the ensuing legal battle cost one of them £15,000 in costs.