Council’s extra bin bag fines come under fire from Luton residents

Black bags dumped on Hart Hill path last week
Black bags dumped on Hart Hill path last week

Luton Council has come under fire for its latest bid to encourage recycling.

This week the council announced residents who left extra black side bags next to their bins, for collection, could face £400 fines.

Colibas Valentin of Pomfret Avenue, is furious about the prospect of fines and also claims that his green bin has not been collected since the second week of December.

He said: “After they changed the bin collection scheme, they now take the general waste every other week so people have started throwing their black bags full of rubbish on the Hart Hill Path. It is disgusting.

“The rubbish has now been removed but the thing is, we are paying for a service and the council should be carrying out this service.

“The introduction of the fines for black bin bags left next to bins is ridiculous, I already pay my council tax they should be collecting the bins.

“My green bin was collected in the second week of December and it has not been collected since, that is not right, what am I paying for?

“I am going to start a petition and get my neighbours to sign it, we are paying for a service and the council should carry out the service we are paying for.”

A spokesperson for Luton Council said: “Officers have been to Hart Hill path and view this as a case of fly tipping. The council takes a strong attitude towards this form of anti-social behaviour, wherever it occurs, and when offenders are identified, action will be taken against them.

“In order to encourage households to reduce waste and at the same time discourage people from simply dumping excess bags next to their bins, warning stickers will be placed on any sacks left in this way.

“From the end of this month fines will be issued to those who leave black bags by the side of their bins in the hope they will be collected.

“We know there is a great deal more residents can do to cut back on the amount of waste they produce and increase their recycling habits. By reducing waste in the town we will be able to lower our costs and use the money saved to support services for the vulnerable of Luton.

“For advice on recycling and reducing waste go to www.luton.gov.uk/recycling.”

But the move has not been welcomed by residents. Andrea Stobbart commented: “Well we all saw this coming it’s just another way to make money to get them out of the mess that they have created I think this is appalling, some people with large families are struggling with the fortnight collection I always have recycling side waste but never black bags this isn’t fair.”

Rakhmatia Mohammad also commented: “Seriously I really don’t know why I pay my council tax. Bad enough the bins comes fortnightly. And before u [sic] ask yes I use my green bins and my glass bucket.”

But others thought it was a good idea and would encourage people to recycle more.

Shelle Belle commented: “We had all this in Dunstable when it all changed to fortnightly and we weren’t happy just like you aren’t but if you recycle correctly it really does work, also they will go through your sacks to see if they can identify who they belong to ... just a word of warning so you don’t get fined.

Dave Mingay also commented: “I think it’s a great idea. Remember everything in your black sack goes to landfill (just a hole in the ground), and these are filling up therefore costs are increasing. If fining people stops them dumping their bags on the street then bring it on.”

Councillor Aslam Khan, portfolio holder responsible for environmental enforcement, said: “Most people are able to manage their waste, however there are still some bins with items that shouldn’t be in there as they could be recycled. More importantly in some areas there are extra black rubbish sacks left out for collection.

“Rubbish and unwanted items left by the side of bins makes a mess of our streets – it’s unsightly and can attract vermin. Anyone who puts out extra bags of rubbish next to their black bin could face a fine.”