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Fixed Penalty Notices - Last Resort

26th July 2007

On Monday night (23 July), Three Rivers District Council's Executive Committee reluctantly gave permission for Fixed Penalty Notices (FPNs) to be used as a last resort for the wilful contamination of green garden waste.

The vast majority of Three Rivers residents are scrupulous in putting the right waste in the correct container, but a very small number of people persistently contaminate the bins. Each contaminated load costs Council tax payers £1,800 and means that the efforts of those who have taken the trouble to sort their refuse are wasted.

Cabinet Member, Councillor Phil Brading, said:

"Huge efforts have been made to sort this out. Residents with contaminated bins are written to twice and visited so it can be explained what they are doing wrong. Mostly it is a genuine mistake, or someone else put the waste in the wrong bin, but there are about 40 residents who persist in contaminating. It is these people who will receive Fixed Penalty Notices."

FPNs will only be issued for large amounts of contamination and never for small items such as juice containers or sweet wrappers, which could have been placed in the bin by a passer-by.

A recent survey showed that 83% of Hertfordshire residents are happy to recycle and think it should be compulsory.

Three Rivers District Council has an excellent recycling rate, with low levels of rejection, but during 2006/2007 300 tonnes of green waste were rejected, which could otherwise have been recycled. Three Rivers District Council wants all appropriate material to be recycled. The use of FPNs is to help achieve this.