A business owner has paid £600 in fines for disposing of a single cardboard box in a shared recycling bin. The box was addressed to her business PO Box rather than home address, which led to the charge for incorrect disposal. 3GS, who are employed by Brighton and Hove council to monitor recycling bins in the area, issued two £300 fines before Christmas – one for fly tipping and one for not having a waste disposal contract in place.

3GS have been used to monitor bins by Brighton and Hove council for almost two years, raising 2,133 fixed penalty notices in the area in 2016 alone. The box in question was 65cm square in size and was broken down before being placed in the recycling bin. The mother of two has stated that the £600 fine is disproportionate and also highlighted that there were no warnings or chance to appeal it.

This is not the first time that issues with 3GS have been reported in the area. Green MP for Brighton, Caroline Lucas has written about the fines on her blog, stating that people have contacted her about it and that “the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) guidance on the issue of Fixed Penalty Notices, clearly states that issuing one should be a proportionate response, that they should not be issued where there is no intent. The correspondence I’ve been sent suggests that 3GS are ignoring DEFRA guidance.”

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