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by Craig Pryce July 05, 2019

In most areas of the country, you need to place your household wheelie bin out in the street on a particular day so that it gets emptied when the council refuse collection team do their rounds.

However, did you know that it is an offence to place it out on the street on non-collection days?

This isn’t the only wheelie bin related fine you can incur as a householder in the UK.

In fact, 19 councils across the UK issued fines last year for breaches of bin rules.

A penalty is usually given after two or three ignored warnings, but this differs from council to council.

This blog post explains everything you need to know about wheelie bin fines.

How many fines are being handed out?

There aren’t a huge number of fines being issued currently. In fact, here are the top five fine issuers from 2018:

  • London Borough of Richmond Upon Thames: 198 fines.
  • Manchester City Council: 82 fines
  • Northampton Borough Council: 72 fines
  • London Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham: 67 fines
  • Nottingham City Council: 42 fines

However, these numbers will fluctuate massively over time based on factors such as funding, staff numbers, individual LA rules, etc.

The regulations regarding household waste collection aren’t hard to understand or follow, so a fine should be easy to avoid if you do what is asked of you by your local authority.

How to avoid wheelie bin fines


If you follow the tips below, you should avoid any potential penalties.

Don’t leave your wheelie bin in the street

Certain authorities have started cracking down on people who leave their wheelie bins out in the street for longer than necessary, as these could cause an obstruction to neighbours — especially those with wheelchairs, pushchairs, or sight and mobility issues. The fine is often anything up to £100.

However, some local authorities have taken it too far, and there have been reports of people being fined for putting their wheelie bin out an hour too early, for example, or not moving it back in before the end of the working day.

Don’t overfill your wheelie bin

Many councils will not collect rubbish additional to the amount that fits inside the wheelie bin they provide. This includes waste that prevents the bin lid from shutting and certainly extends to bags left next to the waste container, on the floor. This is viewed as fly-tipping, and could result in a fine.

If you do find yourself with lots of extra waste one week, take it to your local recycling centre and dispose of it there.

Don’t fail to recycle

Local authorities are working towards targets when it comes to how much they recycle, and so some councils feel a fine is needed to make people understand the importance of correctly recycling their waste.

This penalty can be for placing recyclables in the general waste bin or placing incorrect items in your recycling bin.

Recently, in Huddersfield, 1,300 wheelie bins were removed from households by the council, who are keeping them in storage for six months as a form of ‘punishment’.

This came after warnings were made to residents in the form of yellow stickers stuck to the bins — those who ignored the stickers reoffended and then had their recycling bin taken away.

However, this means that the recyclables these people were formerly recycling now have to be placed in the general waste bin, which seems a little counterproductive! 

 Are you recycling your plastic correctly? Find out here.

Craig Pryce

Craig Pryce