Defra to advise against bin fines for minor breaches

Defra to advise against bin fines for minor breaches

Defra will advise councils that they should not fine residents for small breaches of bin etiquette.

Legislation introduced in 2015 means local authorities can only fine householders for putting their rubbish out incorrectly if there is a “harm to local amenity”.

A Defra spokesman said fresh guidance on the issue was imminent. “As set out in our Litter Strategy for England, local authorities should use appropriate and proportionate enforcement measures to deal with litter and bin issues in their area.

“We will issue further guidance shortly, which will make clear that householders should not be fined for minor breaches of council waste rules.”

The maximum on-the-spot fine for littering and graffiti was almost doubled from £80 to £150 at the beginning April. Councils can also now use littering penalties against vehicle owners if it can be proved that rubbish was thrown from their car.

Defra has also launched a consultation on guidance to English councils on using litter enforcement powers fairly and effectively.

This consultation gives interested parties until 8 June to comment on the Government’s advice about the use of fixed penalties for a range of environmental crimes, including those related to domestic bins.

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