Fined for leaving the bin out

Manchester man A young man in Salford has been fined £550 for leaving his wheelie bin out.

Certainly, he ought to put his bin away.  Certainly, he left it out more than once.  But really, is this in any way proportionate or appropriate?  How on earth can the punishment be said to fit the "crime"?

The Council claims that this isn't just jobsworth bureaucratitis – they say that there is a serious purpose behind it.  You see, there has apparently been a number of fires started in bins in Manchester recently – in 2008, the fire brigade has been called out over 1,000 times to put out rubbish fires, many of which were in wheelie bins.

They can't stop kids lighting fires, so they prosecute the homeowner who suffers at their hands.  They fail to deal with the hard target, and instead of trying harder they pick the easy one instead. 

It's typical of today's overbearing, bullying bureaucratic environment – targeting people who don't break the law, because they can't stop those who do.

By Alex Deane

Posted by on Dec 1, 2009 in Home | 2 Comments


  1. anonymous
    2nd December 2009

    I do not know exactly what happened. But there might be many reasons why the young man didn’t pay or respond to the initial notice. The underlying initial fine might have been too much& sometimes people don’t respond becuase of shame or feelings of helplessness or injustice. Also, a lot of people don’t have the time & energy to write letters or dispute fines or get involved with officals re disputes; some might not because they assume they will be punished for objecting or the hassle or system is stacked against them. Also, those who have the money to delegate disputes to good lawyers, as well as those whom some councils leave alone (sometimes because the indiviual is more connected or wealthier or with better access to press & lawyers) may not be fined or taken to court as easily or as much. Authorities in less well-off areas sometimes tend to be more draconian, because they think they can get away with it.
    I hope that the family is ok – the final fees were horrendously high, and if his car is clamped, how will he work to pay it off?

  2. anonymous
    2nd December 2009

    sorry, the last phrase should have read “how will he get to work” to pay it off (that may or may not be an issue – but removing access to transport seems a heavy penalty over a wheelie bin dispute). Is there a fund towards the fee – he has 20 days otherise his car will be clmped – and am I right in assuming that would cause more fines to gain access to his car again, as well as grief to him & his family?