Bin bag blunder lands Cardenden tenant with £200 illegal dumping fine

Caroline faced �200 fine threat. Pic: Steven Brown
Caroline faced �200 fine threat. Pic: Steven Brown

Fife Council has been forced to issue an apology after a bin bag blunder saw a dutiful tenant being slapped with a £200 illegal dumping notice.

Caroline Martin from Cardenden, who is involved in a long-standing wrangle with a neighbour over access to bins, had been instructed by the authority to pile up rubbish outside her house until the dispute was resolved.

Caroline Martin from Cardenden, who was issued a �200 fine for illegal dumping

Caroline Martin from Cardenden, who was issued a �200 fine for illegal dumping

The bewildered mum, said: “I got away for a couple of days to get away from this and came home to an illegal dumping notice on the bin bags and a note through my door telling me if I did not have these bags moved by the next day Fife Council were issuing me with a £200 fine.

“I phoned the Council but had no choice but to take the bags to landfill.

“I’m damned if I do and I’m damned if I don’t.

”I’ve done nothing wrong. What do I pay my council tax for?”

Caroline, who lives in a terrace of four houses, was unable to take her bins from her back garden out to the road for collection because a neighbour had padlocked a communal access path.

Six months ago the Council, acting in its capacity as landlord, tasked its legal team with finding a solution to the access problem.

As a temporary fix, however, the authority issued Ms Martin with a pile of black bin liners and told her to email when a few bags had collected at the door.

But, considering recent events, it seems one council department failed to inform the other.

Louise Sutherland, Service Manager for Estates Management said: “We’re working with this tenant to reach a solution and last visited agreeing on an alternative arrangement for her bins.

“The illegal dumping letter was issued in error by an employee who was not aware of the agreement we had in place and we’ve apologised for this mistake.”

Caroline told the Press, however, that the long-standing dispute had created “a lot of stress” and the fine had caused her to “reach the brink of no return.”

“The environmental team has not apologised to me once,” she said.

Meanwhile, Fife Council has binned the black bin bag arrangement and now sends a member of staff to Caroline’s house to personally collect her bins instead.