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Residents cop fines after not recycling
4:00pm Thursday 5th September 2013 in Echo News
SEVEN residents in Basildon were given fines for not recycling or failing to put their rubbish out properly.
Basildon Council dished out the £75 fines to residents who failed to repond to warnings by officers in the last financial year.
The fines were handed out under the Environmental Protection Act, but the council insists it was a last resort.
The council said it tried to encourage residents to recycle by putting leaflets through letterboxes and then visiting each household to give them advice.
Tony Ball, leader of the Tory council, said: “The fixed penalty notices are only ever issued as a last resort, as we give householders three opportunities to comply before the fine is issued, which the majority of residents respond to.
“However, unfortunately a very limited number of people do not respond to this and we are forced to issue fines.
“This often has the desired effect and the very small minority start to do their bit to help the environment and save local taxpayers’ money.”
The fines were issued after the council looked into low recycling areas across the borough and sent enforcement officers out on collection days to see if residents were recycling and if they were putting out their rubbish correctly.
Mr Ball said the legislation was there to make sure the right waste was put in the right container, it was not put out too early, and to make sure people were recycling – which is compulsory.
He insisted the council would always try to educate residents rather than fine them.
The fines handed out are £75, reduced to £50 if paid within seven days, and all seven residents coughed up in 2012/13.
The authority has workers collecting waste each week, with its recycling rate standing at 53 per cent, compared to 38 per cent in 2010.
The majority of residents get a weekly collection of black sack waste, pink sack recycling, and green bin collections.
In each area where residents have been educated and fined, figures show the number of people recycling went go up.
! Were you fined by the council, and did you think it was right?
Call reporter Ian Burbidge on 01268 469396.
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