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£110 fines for overfilled bins

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People who overfill their bins face fines of up to£110 - and the government is encouraging local authorities to impose the penalties.

The guidance contained within a Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) manual instructs councils to fine residents between£75 and£110 for 'waste receptacle' offences and recommends a£100 default penalty.

The Flycapture Enforcement Training course document lists offences which include leaving wheelie lids open, putting bins out the night before collection and leaving them in the wrong place.

The penalties are higher than the£80 on-the-spot fines levied against people who are drunk and disorderly or shoplifters.

Conservative shadow local government secretary Eric Pickles MP accused Labour of creating "an army of municipal bin bullies hitting law-abiding families with massive fines while professional criminals get the soft touch".

"It is clear Whitehall bureaucrats are instructing town halls to target householders with fines for minor breaches," he said.

But Defra maintained the penalties were intended to offer an alternative to prosecution.

A spokesman said: "(The penalties) were called for by local authorities so that they could react to the severity and frequency of the environmental offence and offender and ensure our streets are kept clean for all of us."

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