I was fined £400 because my bin was full – I’m scared because I can’t afford to pay it

A STUDENT has been fined hundreds of pounds because her bin was full – and she says she can’t afford to pay.

Marta Stankiewicz has been fined by Stoke-on-Trent City Council for leaving two cardboard boxes outside by her bin.

Student Marta Stankiewicz has been fined £400 for tipping outside her home


Student Marta Stankiewicz has been fined £400 for tipping outside her homePhoto credit: BPM

The sophomore at Keele University says she can’t do anything else because there’s no more space in the trash can.

But if she refuses to pay the £400 fine, she could now face a court hearing.

The environmental studies student from Tunstall in Staffordshire said so Stoke Sentinel how she placed the two boxes next to her trash can on Friday before a scheduled Monday pickup.

But the 45-year-old was reported for leaving behind flies and had to pay a fine the following day.

She said: “I cleaned out the shed and there were these two cardboard boxes. They weren’t big.”

“I put them on the wall outside at the back of the property.

“There wasn’t room for them in the bins, so I just put them next to the bins.

“Someone called on Saturday and said they had reported the rubbish – the same day I received a letter from City Hall saying I had tipped and I was fined £400.”

“The boxes just sat next to the wall by the gate out in the back alley. I was about to throw them away – for two boxes that seems extreme.”

And now she fears she won’t be able to pay.

Marta, who lives alone, added: “It’s overkill. I have no income, only the student loan.”

“I felt petrified. I was afraid to answer the phone. The fine is really disproportionate.”

“I realize that waste disposal is an issue – if it was a sofa or a closet I would understand. But it was only two cardboard boxes.”

“I had just placed them by the bin for collection. I just want to know why the fine was so high – why don’t they treat each case individually and adjust the fine? I am outraged.”

But the local authority refused to budge, insisting that the government set penalties for the overturning.

Council Cabinet Member for Environment and Enforcement Amjid Wazir said: “Stoke-on-Trent City Council has a zero-tolerance approach to all fly-tipping cases.”

“Residents are reminded not to drop off their rubbish for collection until the morning of collection day.

“Any rubbish left out and not arriving at the collection point will be treated as garbage disposal and the offender will be fined.”

“In this case, the boxes could have been handed over to the recyclables collection and placed in the appropriate bin.”

Fly tipping is thought to cost the country £1billion a year.

A quarter of Brits are said to have taken others to task in public for avoiding littering – with beachgoers being among the worst offenders.

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Around 34 million tonnes of rubbish is dumped on the streets every year, enough to fill Wembley Stadium 30 times.

The dispute with the council was caused by cardboard boxes left outside


The dispute with the council was caused by cardboard boxes left outsidePhoto credit: BPM

Edmuns DeMars

Edmund DeMarche is a USTimesPost U.S. News Reporter based in London. His focus is on U.S. politics and the environment. He has covered climate change extensively, as well as healthcare and crime. Edmund DeMarche joined USTimesPost in 2023 from the Daily Express and previously worked for Chemist and Druggist and the Jewish Chronicle. He is a graduate of Cambridge University. Languages: English. You can get in touch with me by emailing edmund@ustimespost.com.

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