Britain to relax fines on garbage handling

January 16th, 2012 - 11:48 am ICT by IANS  

London, Jan 16 (IANS) The British government will stop slapping fines on people who, at times, commit “innocent mistakes” while putting out household rubbish by overfilling their garbage bins or putting them out on the wrong day.

Presently, homeowners can even be fined for putting wrong kind of rubbish in the bin or putting their bins at the wrong place.

Ministers will consult on ending councils’ right to treat petty infringements as criminal offences which can carry fines of up to 1,000 pounds (over $1,500) for householders who ignore fixed-penalty notices, the Daily Express reported citing a government announcement.

“We want to see people helping us to boost recycling rates by putting out their rubbish correctly, but bullying them with fines is not the way to do it. Only those causing real problems for their community will get punished, the Daily Mail quoted Environment Secretary Caroline Spelman as saying.

Maximum penalties handed down as spot fines, which could be higher than those given by police for shoplifting and other genuine criminal acts, will also be slashed.

Though it could take two years to change the law, however, in the meantime, councils are being urged to slash fines of up to 80 pounds down to 40 pounds for prompt payment.

As per the Local Government Association, fines were aimed only at the small minority who persistently left waste piled up or wilfully contaminated recycling material.

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