Figures published by the Sunday Telegraph have revealed that householders are being fined more for breaking the rules on bin use and recycling than they would be for shoplifting.
The paper contacted all 358 local councils in England and found out from the 207 that responded that 1,240 fixed penalty notices and 24,914 official statutory notices were issued last year.
Fines of up to £110 are being issued to householders for infringements including over filling bins, not sorting recycling properly and putting bins out at the wrong time.
Environmental wardens, nicknamed the ‘bin police’ monitor bin use on behalf of councils, and sometimes go through rubbish looking for evidence of which household the waste originates from.
Some areas are now issuing up to nine bins to householders. Authorities insist that penalties are required in order to enforce the rules and meet European targets.