Press release

Eric Pickles hails end of heavy handed bin fines

Deregulation Bill protects householders from unnecessary bin penalties.

This was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

Cutting red tape.

New laws will ensure householders are no longer be penalised by their council if they accidentally put their rubbish out early or put the wrong item in the wrong bin, Communities Secretary Eric Pickles said today (1 July 2013).

A new legal test will be introduced - of public nuisance or ‘harm to local amenity’ - to ensure that powers are only used against the very small minority of people who allow rubbish to pile up, or those who fly-tip or dump their rubbish. It will stop the practice of fines being issued for breaches of confusing, arbitrary and unfair town hall bin rules, such as not closing a bin lid, putting a rubbish bin out at the wrong time, or putting a yoghurt pot into the wrong bin.

Mr Pickles welcomed the Deregulation Bill unveiled today that will make provision to scrap heavy-handed fines for people who make mistakes when putting out their bins would be a welcome and long awaited relief for law-abiding householders.

Household waste recycling and collection services are the most important services residents receive for their council tax, according to recent survey.

The measure builds on the government’s steps already taken to scrap bin taxes, and to support weekly rubbish collections and end the Whitehall policy of forcing councils to deliver fortnightly collections.

Communities Secretary Eric Pickles:

For too long barmy bin rules have allowed local authorities to slap fines on law-abiding people who make innocent mistakes.

Putting out your rubbish should be a simple process and it is ludicrous that we have a system where a milk carton in the wrong bin, or a wheelie bin a few inches out of place can lead to people facing bigger fines than shoplifters.

We’re bringing common sense back and reining in the town hall bin bullies.

Notes to editors

The end of heavy-handed bin fines for people who make mistakes putting out their bins are part of the measures announced in the Deregulation Bill.

YouGov survey results, May 2013, found that waste and recycling services are the most important service provided by local councils.

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Published 1 July 2013