Petition over unfair ‘flytipping’ fines

Recycling bins in Brighton and Hove
Recycling bins in Brighton and Hove

Hundreds have signed a petition calling on Brighton and Hove City Council to terminate its contract with waste enforcement firm 3GS.

Ali Mapletoft from Hove started the petition after she was fined £600 when a cardboard box with her business address on it was found in the wrong bin. Mrs Mapletoft runs a small online business from home making cushions. Mrs Mapletoft said she was told the fine was for commercial waste being ‘flytipped’ in a recycling bin and because she didn’t have a waste disposal contract for her business.

She paid the fine, but said it was ‘disproportionate’ and that there was no chance to appeal.

“Countless Brighton and Hove residents, acting in good faith, have been fined under a system that was designed to target flytippers,” Mrs Mapletoft said. “Faced with a sudden £300 to £600 fine for one cardboard box, residents discover that there is no appeal system.”

Almost 500 people have signed the petition which will be handed to Cllr Gill Mitchell, the council’s lead member for environment.

The petition criticised ‘heavy handed enforcement’ by 3GS, ‘without regard for proportionality of common sense’.

A Brighton and Hove City Council spokesperson said: “Businesses, including those operating from home or mobile traders, are required by law to dispose of their own recycling and refuse as it is business waste.

“If businesses do use council bins or flytip their waste they will face fines if caught.

“Anyone who feels they have been wrongly given a fixed penalty notice can make a representation to 3GS in the first instance. If they are still concerned, or wish to give more general feedback, they can write to the council.”

To view the online petition by Mrs Mapletoft, visit: bit.ly/2C4ML8r