Hundreds of households have been fined by a council for leaving their wheelie bins and rubbish bags out on the wrong day, we can reveal.
Cardiff council issued £100 fines to 416 homes in the year between April 2010 and March 2011, a Freedom of Information request to the authority showed.
A further 3,181 households were sent written warnings for breaching the council’s rules.
High density areas such as Cathays, Riverside and Albany Road in Roath have been identified as the main problem hot-spots.
Cardiff council said bins and bags left out long after the rubbish is collected were a hazard, blocking access and causing a nuisance to residents.
Anti-tax campaigners last night branded the crackdown “over the top”, while local residents’ associations welcomed attempts to clear the capital’s pavements.
The findings comes four months after WalesOnline reported that the council had photographers roaming the streets to catch anyone who clutters up pavements.
Under council rules, bins and rubbish bags are permitted on the kerbside before 6am on the day of collection, but no earlier than 4.30pm the day before.
The bins must then be brought back off the kerbside by no later than 9am the day after collection.
Two warning letters are posted before the council will issue a Section 46 Fixed Penalty Notice.
Jane Cherrington, the council’s operations manager for waste strategy, said: “We are not waiting to pounce, but some residents are leaving out their bins permanently.”
A council spokesman added: “It is important that waste is presented only on the correct day/week so that we can ensure a pleasant environment for all.
“However, fixed penalty notices are only issued after repeat efforts to educate residents have failed.
“(Bins) can cause obstructions, which whilst acceptable for a temporary period can be a nuisance to other residents outside of collection days/times.
“Waste placed out on the wrong day can lead to litter and blocked access for residents.
“There is sufficient information available from the council for residents to ensure they present their waste on the correct days.
“We have an extensive education and information programme in place but ultimately residents have a social responsibility to deal with their own waste and not make it a nuisance for other residents, especially those who live in close proximity.”
However, Emma Boon from the Taxpayers’ Alliance, said: “Everyone prefers their street to look tidy without rubbish sitting around but fining households for putting bins out on the wrong day is over the top.
“With more than one fine a day on average last year it looks like the council is doing this to make money rather than enforce the rules.”
Councillor Cerys Furlong, Labour group spokeswoman, said householders fed-up with rubbish strewn streets due to pests ripping open trash bags would welcome the action.
“We can all help keep our neighbourhoods clean and litter free by putting bins out on the correct days, reducing the likelihood of these problems,” she said.
“Those who are unwilling to do so should consider the impact of their actions on their neighbours and other residents, and action should be taken by the council where problems persist.”
Pam Williams, chair of the Cardiff Residents and Tenants Federation, added: “I approve of it (the fines) personally.
“It’s a horror story out there. People are told and told and told, but it’s still a horror story.
“We get a lot of complaints from our members of people who just abuse the system.”
What do you think about the fines? Do you support the council’s move? Let us know your views in the comments below