Fury over ‘heavy handed’ Welwyn Hatfield recycling fines warning

PUBLISHED: 17:00 06 October 2013

Sue Beaumont outside her house with the

Sue Beaumont outside her house with the "final warning" notice from Welwyn Hatfield Council after bin men refused to take away her recycling

Archant

NEIGHBOURS who were told they could face hefty fines after switching to new recycling rules too early have hit out.

The criticism comes ahead of a bin collection shake-up, which comes into effect across Welwyn Hatfield over the next two weeks.

Last week householders in Longcroft Lane, WGC, were left fuming after being given “final warning” stickers, telling them they could face £100 fines.

It came after they put cardboard into their blue bins – which they will be expected to do from next week.

Sue Beaumont told the WHT: “It is ridiculous.

“How can I be given a final warning, when I haven’t even been given a first warning?

“There were at least four red stickers in Longcroft Lane – we can’t all be stupid, and I am sure it must be the same in a lot of other streets.”

She said leaflets distributed by Welwyn Hatfield Council were not clear.

“The start date of October 9 was in tiny writing and on the back of the leaflet,” she said.

“Why wasn’t it in big red letters on the front?

“If they go on like this, people will just chuck everything in the black bin.”

Her neighbour Margaret Meakin Lane said: “We try to do our bit to help recycling, but I don’t understand what is happening now.

“We have all been given these red notices hanging off our bins, giving us a final warning, or we will have to pay a £100 fine.”

The borough council told the WHT it did not record how many warnings are issued.

A spokeswoman said the authority had used several forms of communication to get dates of the changes across, and added: “Leaflets were delivered to over 40,000 households, and stickers and bin hangers were attached to the same number of bins borough-wide.

“The vast majority of residents presented their bin correctly and therefore had it emptied, suggesting that most people had successfully read and understood the communications.”

The council is changing the recycling system, asking residents to put cardboard into blue bins containing plastic and paper, rather than brown organic waste bins.

Other changes include plastic bags having to be put in the landfill bin, not the recycling one.

The precise date of the change depends on where people live, but all 10 collection routes will have changed by Friday, October 11.


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