An 86-year-old man has been hit with a #200 fine for “fly-tipping” – after trying to tidy up an overflowing recycling bin which council chiefs had failed to empty.
The fine was handed to shocked William Strawn on his doorstep after council officials rifled through his recycling to trace his address.
Grandfather William had put his old newspapers in a bag next to the bin – rather than dump them on top of the full recycling container where they would have blown away.
Community-spirited William first tidied up other bags of rubbish left at the bin. Then he added his own papers to one of the sacks.
Retired shipbuilder William said: “I took my weekly newspapers down to the tip and my wife had put in some of last year’s Christmas cards which had my address on them.
“When I got there it was unbelievable. The bins were absolutely full and people had piled up their waste in the bins and left bags just lying around.
“You could barely walk around the area because of how much had been left lying about. I don’t like to see rubbish flying about so I tried to clear up a bit.
“I thought I was doing something good when I was tidying up the plastic bags that were lying around the bin.
“I didn’t want to leave my own bags lying around so I put my papers into one of the bags already there and left everything together.”
Then, a few days later, law-abiding William, of Burntisland, Fife, opened his front door to discover he was being handed his local council’s largest-possible fly-tipping fine.
Other residents got smaller fines, but William was hit for £200 – in the week before Christmas.
He said: “There’s no appeal route, not at all, so I have to pay.
“I’ve never been in trouble with the law. I’ve never even had a parking ticket.
“When the council came over, I told them I had put my papers in a bag next to the bin and that I had tidied up before I left.
“I’m lucky to have savings to fall on, but for anyone who has nothing in the bank it’s terrible. I was only trying to do the right thing.”
Mark McCall, service manager at Fife Council, said: “Previous years have seen increased fly-tipping at recycling points over Christmas and New Year.
“This year we undertook a large campaign, including additional signage, prior to the holiday period to advise members of the public not to dump material at recycling points.
“We take a zero tolerance approach toward littering and fly-tipping and issue fixed penalty notices to anyone not disposing of waste in an appropriate container.
“This includes litter, dog waste, general waste, or recyclable material.
“This has been our policy for a number of years and its implementation has been consistent, which removes any ambiguity when officers are dealing with