The Director of Environment and Adult Social Care submitted a report to consider the issue of fixed penalty notices for those persons who were required to use a wheeled bin but continue to place their waste for collection incorrectly, and to propose a change in the enforcement policy.
The report outlined that In February 2009 the Council approved charging for replacement wheeled bins as part of the budget setting process for 2009/10 and this was introduced in October 2011. The report made proposals for dealing with those residents who would not pay to replace their bin, as without the implementation of sanctions the charging policy may not be effective. Responsibility for wheeled bin provision and security rests with residents, though in some circumstances landlords may assist.
The ability to take enforcement action against residents who are unable or unwilling to replace their wheeled bin was covered by Section 46 of the Environmental Protection Act 1990. This allowed the council to require the occupier of a household to place their waste for collection in receptacles of a kind and number specified. The council was able to charge the occupier(s) for a replacement wheeled bin or require the occupier(s) to provide one themselves within a specified timescale. For matters involving replacement wheeled bins, it was considered appropriate that before issuing a legal notice under section 46, an advisory letter is sent first.
The report outlined that it was proposed that once a report was received that a resident was unable or unwilling to pay for a replacement wheeled bin (charges are set at £15 for a replacement 120 litre bin, £25 for a 240 litre bin and £40 for a 360 litre bin), they are sent a polite letter asking them to replace their wheeled bin within 14 days. They are also advised that during this time their waste will be still be picked up if left in black bags at their normal collection point on their normal collection day.
Once the 14 days has expired the collection crew will monitor compliance and note if there is a wheeled bin on the property or if refuse sacks were put out for collection (instead of a wheeled bin). Where refuse sacks have been put out for collection instead of a wheeled bin a legal notice will be served, giving a further 28 days to obtain a wheeled bin.
The report further outlined that those residents in receipt of a notice, and who carry on putting out their waste other than in a wheeled bin, will be given the opportunity of an interview (as the offence carries a reasonable excuse defence), to establish the facts and whether a fixed penalty notice should be issued. The fixed penalty amount is currently set at £110 reduced to £60 if paid within 10 days. Decision making in this regard will be made in line with the published enforcement policy.
Non-payment of the fixed penalty will then result in one reminder letter and one final demand letter being sent and following this court proceedings against the individual. Costs arising from this would exceed the cost of a fixed penalty notice.
The report gave information in relation to the current position and the enforcement policy, which could be found at http:www.middlesbrough.gov.uk/ccm/navigation/environment/.
During the meeting, the Executive member for Streetscene Services and Transport asked for a resident is unable or unwilling to pay for a replacement wheeled bin, the letter asks them to replace it within 28 days, not 14 day as mentioned in the report.
That the Executive member approved the following:
Where a resident does not replace their bin, a simple and polite letter is sent in the first instance allowing 28 days in which to replace their bin
If residents do not replace their wheeled bin following this letter a legal Notice is served giving them a further 28 days to replace their bin
Failure to comply with this notice (subject to statutory defences) will result in the issue of a fixed penalty notice
Failure to pay the requisite penalty will result in court proceedings
The decisions were supported by the following reason:
To ensure the Council policy of charging for wheeled bins may be implemented effectively and enforced consistently.