By Daily Mail Reporter
A young father has been fined £550 for leaving his wheelie bins outside his home.
Gareth Robinson, 24, was prosecuted by Salford City Council after the it said he repeatedly failed to take his bins in.
Council rules state that the bins must be taken in by 11pm on the day of collection.
Mr Robinson was caught breaching the rules on eight occasions by officials who visited his home in Irlam, Manchester.
But Mr Robinson said he would not be paying the fine and branded the council action ‘pathetic and a joke’.
He said: ‘I have only just got back into work. I cannot afford to pay £600 for a bin. I pay my council tax.’
Mr Robinson claimed the bins were left outside his house for two days at the most as he dug up turf in his back garden.
He was taken to court after ignoring repeated warnings and found guilty in his absence of failing to comply with an enforcement notice under the Environment Protection Act.
Mr Robinson, who has a four-year-old son, has been sent a notice warning him that unless he pays the fine by December 22, it could be increased by 50 per cent, his vehicle could be clamped and seized and bailiffs could be employed.
The letter also warns that he could face jail for non-payment.
He said: ‘I have been trying to do my garden up. I took my bins outside the garden so I could get my turf up then forgot to bring them back in.
‘A week later I got a knock on the door. It was somebody from the council who gave me a fine sheet.
‘I told him that I was not paying that just for a bin. Lots of people around here leave their bins outside for longer than they should. It is pathetic.
‘Then they said that I would have to go to court. I got a letter for court but couldn’t go because I didn’t want to take time off.
‘There are real criminals out there and I have been fined nearly £600. I am going to write to them because I cannot afford to pay it.
‘I think it is pathetic and I’m not going to pay it. It was only out there for two days at the most and now I have to pay all this money.’
Council officers went to Mr Robinson’s home eight times between February and June this year and saw his bins had not been taken in on each occasion.
The authority said about 3,500 wheelie bins are stolen, vandalised or reported missing each year – costing the taxpayer £2million.
As well as the cost of replacing the bins, there is a significant cost to the turnouts and a risk to life and property of the arson attacks.
The costs to the taxpayer for each call out is around £2,000.
Mr Robinson was warned about his behaviour and served with a notice not to put the bin out before 7pm the night before collection and to bring it back in by 11pm on the day it was emptied, the council said.
He ignored this and was issued with a £60 fixed penalty notice. Robinson failed to pay the fine and the council started court proceedings.