Bin fines plan sparks fly-tipping fears

CONTROVERSIAL plans to fine people for putting out too much rubbish will lead to more fly-tipping, opponents of the scheme have warned.

The city council is to dish out £50 penalty notices to residents who continually leave out extra bags next to full wheelie bins in a bid to encourage recycling.

But there are fears the new rules will backfire as people look for other ways to dispose of extra household waste.

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Robert Pearson, of Tenants and Residents of Muirhouse, said there was already a problem with fly-tipping in the area since last year’s switch to fortnightly bin collections.

He said: “The council needs to sort itself out first before it starts penalising residents. It’s a complete farce.

“Several people on the estate still don’t have individual recycling bins and the collections are still a mess.

“If people believe they are going to get a £50 fine for overfilling their bin then they’re either going to put it in someone else’s, or leave it in the street and say it’s not theirs.”

The News revealed on Monday that bins will first be tagged with warning notes, then bin men will refuse to empty overflowing bins, or pick up surplus bin bags.

If the problem persists, environmental wardens will visit the homes and official warnings will be sent before a fixed £50 penalty is issued.

The council said the move was necessary to encourage recycling, minimise the amount of waste being sent to landfill and persuade residents to accept responsibility for their rubbish.

But Jon Black, from Tenants and Residents of Pilton, who dumped piles of rubbish outside the North Neighbourhood Office in protest about overflowing bins last October, said the plan would not work.

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He said: “Most people are keen on recycling, but the issue has not been sorted out. We don’t think £50 fines are the way to go and we are going to try and convince [environment convener] Lesley Hinds not to go ahead with this.”

Jason Rust, councillor for Colinton and Fairmilehead, said: “I’ve had constituents complaining that the bin men miss collections, or only sometimes only half of their bin is emptied. They’re asking what the sanctions will be against the council for that?”

Cllr Hinds said the aim was to address the “irresponsible” few who were not recycling.

She said: “People will get all the help and support they need with their recycling boxes. I understand there is no backlog now, so urge anyone who says they don’t have one to e-mail me.”

Christmas party’s finally over . . in February

Bonnington resident Iain Pugh was left waiting for a month for council workers to collect a pile of Christmas trees sitting outside his house.

The 34-year-old dumped his dying tree on the kerb at Gosford Place alongside five others during the first week of January, but workers failed to collect the rubbish on the allocated date of January 18.

Mr Pugh subsequently made two calls to remind council staff, with neither leading to their removal.

He said: “The trees were blowing around and hitting cars. I had to remove them from the street some days.”

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A call from the Evening News on Monday resulted in immediate action, with the trees finally taken away at 8pm that night.

Environment convener Councillor Lesley Hinds said: “The council collects waste from over 236,000 households and we endeavour to collect them on schedule. However, we recognise that this hasn’t happened in this case.”

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