Residents hit out at Northampton Borough Council after woman is fined for leaving rubbish out on wrong day

A woman has been fined for leaving rubbish out on the wrong day and not paying a penalty charge.
A woman has been fined for leaving rubbish out on the wrong day and not paying a penalty charge.

The decision to prosecute a Northampton woman who left out her rubbish on the wrong day has been criticised as hypocritical.

Northampton Borough Council took action against the woman who had refused to pay a fixed penalty notice. She was fined £175 and ordered to pay costs of £400 and a £20 victim surchrage.

The woman, who was not named by the council, was prosecuted for putting her bins out on the wrong day.

The council used the court action as a warning message to others.

But the decision was roundly criticised by readers on the Chron’s Facebook page.

Jon Hall said: “Unbelievable. Only last week the Chron reported that recycling bins were tossed and broken in Northampton, and the outcome? Management were going to “have words” with operatives.....perhaps they should also be asked to pay a penalty charge for negligence and willful damage?”

Matt Magee said: “I’m going to issue fixed penalty tickets for every time they throw my recycling bins down the road and break them. It’s a regular occurence.”

Michael Stockwell added: “But the binmen can throw your recycle bin down the street, breaking them. It makes me sick.”

Helen Blake added: “Can we fine the council then when they have collected the rubbish and leave other people’s rubbish in our street?

“An envelope addressed to someone from another part of our village was ont he road after the bin men had been.”

Finn Abraham said; “Ridiculous waste of the legal system. Punitive and utterly hypocritical.”

And Christine Monk added: “So, can we sue them when they don’t turn up? Our rubbish should have been collected last Tuesday and they never turned up at all.”

Northampton Borough Council cabinet member for the environment, Councillor Mike Hallam, urged residents to dispose of their refuse and recycling correctly in light of the court case.

He said: “We take waste offences very seriously and will take action against those who do not present their waste and recycling correctly.

“Fines and court action are a last resort, and I just hope that our enforcement work over the last year and this latest prosecution will at the very least serve as a warning to people to behave responsibly and put out their refuse and recycling correctly.”

The prosecution was the third prosecution brought by the council in 2014 for environmental crime offences relating to waste disposal.

In addition the council served 36 fixed penalty notices for waste offences during the year.

For advice or to report an environmental crime offence, visit www.northampton.gov.uk/flytipping or contact Northampton Borough Council on 0300 330 7000.