Fined £250 for fly-tipping - but says council is to blame

A man was fined £250 for leaving rubbish outside his house, but says council failed to provide a bin

Kyle Tatton

Kyle Tatton, a 24-year-old from Cobridge in Stoke-on-Trent, has been fined £250 for leaving rubbish in the alleyway behind his house.

He says the fine is unfair, because he was left with no alternative, after the council took five months to respond to his request for a wheelie bin. The council, meanwhile, tells another story.

Tatton told the Daily Mail he had wanted to comply with the rules and use a wheelie bin, but despite asking for a bin back in October last year, it took until March this year to arrive. In the interim, he was forced to leave bags of rubbish in the alleyway behind his house.

"I haven't got a car to take it to the tip," he told the Mail. "What was I meant to do with it? I had no alternative but to leave it in the alley at the back of my house."

This led to him being charged with fly-tipping at the Magistrates Court. The Magistrates heard that the council had received complaints about the rubbish piling up in the alleyway, so they searched the bags and discovered waste linked to Tatton.

The alleyway

The Stoke Sentinel reported that he admitted putting the bags there, and was given a £35 fine, and ordered to pay £200 in costs and a £20 surcharge. However, he argued that he had only done it because the council had failed to provide a bin.

The council replied that his request for a bin was only logged in February. Councillor Andy Platt, the city council's cabinet member for green enterprises and clean city, added: "Not having a wheelie bin is not an excuse to dump rubbish outside your property, and we welcome the conviction, fine and costs imposed by the court. Dumping rubbish in the open, even in bags, can quickly bring down the appearance of an area and lead to other problems, including vermin and further fly-tipping."

Wheelie bizarre fines

The facts of this case are in dispute, but over the years there have been some truly odd wheelie bin fines. In 2008 a young mum in Bolton was fined £265 for putting her bin out a day early, and in the same year a father of four from Cumbria was taken to court and fined £210 (with a victim surcharge of £15) for overfilling his bin by four inches.

In 2012, the government announced that there would be an end to bin files for minor rule breaking. However, they then backtracked later in the year, and said the fines would be cut instead, and common sense would be employed to stop over-zealous bin bureaucrats getting carried away.

Yet sky-high bin fines remain in place across the country. This week two people from Northampton were ordered to pay £500 each, after leaving bin bags outside their homes on the wrong day, and then failing to respond to penalty charge notices.

But what do you think? Are these fines fair? Let us know in the comments.

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