The Sunday Telegraph reports that "draconian" fines on householders for breaking rules on rubbish and recycling are to be prohibited.
Councils will no longer be able to fine people for failing to close a bin lid; leaving bin bags next to a bin; putting a bin out on the wrong day; failing to move it back inside the boundary of a property; or making minor mistakes with recycling.
The amount of penaties issued has risen by 75% in the past year. This has prompted suspicion that councils are issuing them to raise money rather than purely out of concern to keep streets clean and tidy. Other concerns are that councils are to quick to go to court rather than first give a warning and that some of the jobsworth complaints are about convenience of the refuse crews rather than of any environmental merit.
There should be incentives for recycling rather than penalties for not doing so. There should also be recognition that penalties for those who drop litter, or allow dog fouling, should be far more severe than those whose offence is inadvertent. On the other hand people should not be allowed to persistently leave bin bags on the pavement for days on end.