A London couple were hit with a £400 ‘fly-tipping’ fine for putting their bins out at the wrong time of day.
Carla Grande and John Rowe, from Walthamstow, popped their bins out below their flat on St James Street at the wrong time after only recently moving in.
They had accidentally read a part of the Waltham Forest Council’s website which does not show what times rubbish needs to be left out, per MyLondon.
But the blunder saw them accused of fly-tipping, with enforcement contractor 3GS sending them ’round and round in circles’ when they appealed.
The company emailed Carla several times demanding the £400 payment despite proving no evidence it had reviewed the couple’s pleas, according to emails shared with the Local Democracy Reporting Service.
After emailing 3GS bosses, council officials and Labour MP Stella Creasy, Carla managed to get the fine whittled down to £150.
This amounted to a typical fine for littering, an anonymous council worker said, as the rubbish bags were left ‘intended to be collected’ rather than fly-tipped.
Carla, 32, called on the council to ease its ‘harsh rules’ on bin collection times at a climate change scrutiny committee session on Monday.
‘I feel there is no clear way of appealing or representing when you’re issued a fine,’ Carla said.
‘3GS are essentially carrying out a third-party process. They are bullies to put it simply, they tell you to go to the council and you go round and round in circles.’
She added: ‘I would like justification as to why this is, I believe that it’s because I am not going to give up.
‘If it’s a littering fine, it should be a littering fine from the start, not a fly-tipping fine for putting bags out, not after sending emails for two-and-a-half months thinking I’m going to court.’
Putting the collection time of every household’s portal on the council’s website would be ‘difficult’, director of neighbourhoods Jarlath Griffin said.
He added: ‘There are about 72 clear-all routes in the borough where residents put their waste out, the service goes through and reminds properties through a range of means how to go about this.
‘The system has been the same system for five to ten years now, we’ve never really changed it from Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays and we try to keep it the same as we go through the whole process.’
Councillor Clyde Loakes told Metro.co.uk: ‘Keeping the streets of Waltham Forest clean is a priority.
‘Residents in properties with no frontage or bin storage should place waste bags directly in the street on the designated collection days and times.
‘These occur three times a week to ensure collection and minimise risks to public health, reduce fly-tipping, and keep residents’ neighbourhoods tidy and safe.
‘This system has been in place for several years and is similar to the approach taken by other London boroughs.’
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