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Wednesday, November 14, 2012
Families in a Norwich street have been issued with an ultimatum - move your wheelie bin after it has been emptied or we’ll fine you £80.
But council bosses admitted that, having sent out a number of such letters to people since they introduced the wheelie bin system in 2008, nobody has ever been hit with such a fine.
Norwich City Council has written to households in Newmarket Street after complaints about the bins being left out in the streets between rubbish collections.
They warn people that the council has the power to slap an £80 fixed penalty notice to householders who put their bins out too early, or who collect them in too late.
The council says it will be “monitoring the situation” over the next few weeks and will “where applicable will take action to ensure all bins are removed from the highway”.
Under the Environmental Protection Act, the council can serve a notice requiring people to ensure their wheelie bins are not placed out for collection earlier than 6pm the day before their scheduled collection and that they are returned to within the boundary of their property before 9am the day after collection.
A city council spokesman said: “Bins left on pavements can be a problem for people with mobility issues and parents with pushchairs.
“When we get a complaint about bins being left out we visit the area concerned. If we think there is a serious problem and that it possess a risk to people’s safety, we will write to remind residents about their responsibility.
“We have never had to issue a fine, since introducing this way of working in October 2008, as residents seem to understand the need for keeping the pavement clear.
“The concern tends to happen in parts of the city with narrow pavements. The present letter has been sent to residents in Newmarket Street, which we will monitor over the next couple of weeks.”
The action was welcomed by the Norwich Access Group, a pressure group of disabled people which tries to improve access for disabled people in the city.
George Saunders, the group’s chairman, said: “The bins do cause a bit of a problem. Anything which obstructs the pavement can be a problem for people in wheelchairs and for those who are sight restricted.”
Norwich City Council introduced the first of the city’s blue recycling bins in 2008, when the authority switched to black bins of general waste being collected one week and the blue bins the following week.
The city council also provides caddies for food waste, which are collected every week and also offers brown bins for garden waste.
At a council meeting last month, Green city councillors said they had received complaints from Norwich people who were putting their bins outside their homes, only to find them left halfway down the road after they had been emptied.
Norwich City Council leaders said at that time the issue was on their radar, with City Hall officers keeping tabs on whether bins are put back in the right place.
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