I Tried to Recycle My Papers . . . and Was Fined [Pounds Sterling]50 by the Rubbish-Tip Spies

Article excerpt

Byline: MARTIN DELGADO

WHEN Linda Sims left a bag of newspapers next to a 'locked' recycling bin, she believed she was doing her bit for the environment.

But the council thought otherwise - and after watching her on CCTV, it fined her for littering.

Mrs Sims, 42, had gone to the open-air site to recycle her newspapers, some cardboard and some old shoes.

She put the cardboard and shoes in the correct containers. But when she tried to do the same with the newspapers, she found a padlock on the lid of the bin.

Rather than take the papers home again, she left them on the ground for collection, making sure the two carrier bags couldn't fall over.

However, every detail of her visit to the site near her home in Waltham Cross, Hertfordshire, was recorded, including her car registration number.

Despite her good intentions, council officials decided that she was 'littering not recycling' and demanded her details from the Driver and Vehicle Licensing Agency. Two days later, she received a [pounds sterling]50 fixed-penalty notice through the post. It warned that failure to pay within 14 days could lead to prosecution and a fine of up to [pounds sterling]2,500. …