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Council vowing to get tough on wheelie bin hazard

PUBLISHED: 11:17 02 January 2008 | UPDATED: 19:29 21 September 2011

Council chiefs want to issue £110 fines to people who put rubbish bins out in the wrong place or time.

The strict new measures are being considered to stop pavements being blocked by wheelie bins left out for hours or even days.

Environmental services bosses have asked councillors to look at enforcing existing rules to target the owners of bothersome bins.

The council say they have identified a number of bad bin hotspots around Swale where householders habitually leave their wheelie bins in the way, blocking the pavement for hours at a time.

A report from the head of amenities and development says councillors should enforce the law against 'persistent offenders who cause problems for the community by leaving waste receptacles out unnecessarily early, in the wrong location, or leaving bins out some time after collection.'

By law people deemed to be causing nuisance through their behaviour can be fined up to £110, reduced to £80 if paid within seven days.

Environment councillor John Disney said the fines would only be used as a last resort, following letters and visits by council officers.

At a meeting last month other members expressed concerns about the proposals, asking how many warnings people would get before landing a fine and whether fines were really necessary.

But Mr Disney said although the majority of residents followed the rules, a few persistently caused problems.

At present the only action the council takes against problem bin owners is sending letters warning them about their behavior.

It also has the option of confiscating bins from the whole street, but has so far refrained from this extreme course of action.

Council officers say the fines would give them a last resort - which might keep persistent offenders in line.

The proposal is currently being considered by the environment and sustainability scrutiny panel.

They will also decide how many warnings should be issued prior to a fine.

The report will come back before the council executive in the next few weeks.

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