Friday, 25 July 2008

Trader is fined £300 by council for using black bin bags instead of grey

25th July 2008

Nicole Rosbrook

Nicole Rosbrook outside the shop in Muswell Hill where she was fined for using the wrong coloured bin bags

A boutique has been fined £300 for throwing away rubbish in the wrong coloured bin bags.

Shopkeepers in Muswell Hill are ordered to put their waste out in special grey sacks.

However, the company that supplies the sacks had run out of them, so staff at Charli, a designer fashion store, were forced to use normal black bags instead.

To their horror, Haringey council officials patrolling the area spotted the four bags left outside the store and imposed a £75 fine for each.

Shop owner Sangita Ibrahim, 47, said: 'The shop was really busy and they came in like the Gestapo.

'Staff were told they would face criminal prosecution and receive a criminal record for the bags. I felt like I was going to be frogmarched away.'

Nicole Rosbrook, who works at the shop in the Broadway, claimed the officials were aggressive towards staff as well as customers who tried to intervene.

'It's completely absurd,' she said. '

The two guys who came in were incredibly rude to us  -  and to the customers. We were shocked, particularly when they turned on our customers.'

Miss Bolbrook said the shop asked the council several times for the correct bags before resorting to using the black ones.

'We repeatedly asked for a delivery of bags but it never came, so we had to use ordinary black bags,' she said.

'The two men actually went through the bags, leaving them open and rubbish strewn all over the pavement.

'For workers supposedly involved in keeping the place clean they really made a mess.'

The case is the latest example of local authorities taking an increasing interest in people's rubbish as they increase recycling and reduce the amount of waste sent to landfill.

Families living on the Islington and Hackney border have to contend with nine collections a week in green, brown and blue boxes, garden waste bags and black bin bags.

Brent council has announced that from next month it will fine householders £1,000 if they fail to sort their rubbish out for recycling.

Mid Sussex District Council has been sending teams to sift through bins to see how much food households are throwing away as part of a 'fact-finding' exercise.

A spokesman for Haringey said its grey bag system for business waste was introduced to stop f ly-tippers getting rid of rubbish illegally.

He continued: 'We are working very hard with residents to stop people abusing the trade waste collection by using it for their rubbish.

'Trade waste is left out in specific bags to ensure we provide paying traders with an efficient service.

'This rubbish was clearly not in the correct bags and looked like the many f ly-tipping bags our traders find dumped in their waste. Consequently, the notice was lawfully issued by our enforcement fly-tipping patrol who followed proper procedures.'

However, the spokesman added: 'Having investigated the situation with our contractors who collect trade waste and supply the trade waste bags, we will be contacting the shop to arrange cancelling the enforcement notice in this case.'

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