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Council send mum €75 fine for leaving lid up on her bin

A mum-of-two is facing being taken to court by a Dublin council -- for overloading her rubbish bin.

Michelle Mahoney (40), from Tallaght, was shocked to receive a notice in the post for a fine of €75.

The penalty was levied by South Dublin Co Council after a litter warden photographed her rubbish bin with its lid open and a sealed plastic bag sticking out over the top.

When she contacted officials about it, she was told she had contravened the litter bye-laws by having an overloaded bin.

She was also informed she would be summonsed to court if she did not pay it, which she has still not done.

Michelle, pictured right with the fine and the photographs of the bin, said she was taken aback as she had never heard of the stipulation.

"No one knows about this (overloaded bins)," she told the Herald. "I was saying to myself (when she got the fine), what's going on."

Michelle showed the letter to her neighbours and they couldn't believe it either, she said.

She was the only resident on her street -- Bawnville Drive -- to be fined.


"I got on to Citizens' Advice and they had never heard of it either," Michelle added.

She also contacted a councillor, who told her in all the years he was on the council he had never heard of anything like it.

But the council insists wardens check residents' bins as part of their patrols.

The council has been issuing fines since the bye-law was introduced in 2007, it added.

Michelle received the notice by registered post on July 16, two days after the litter warden photographed her bin.

Michelle was given 21 days to pay, but she did not meet the deadline.

"It was not the money. It was the principle -- the cheek of them. I had no problem with the money," she said.

Her husband Tony, who works in CIE, was "going mad over it as well," said Michelle, whose kids are aged 20 and 6.

"He never heard the like of it," she added.

She was told by an official that she could end up in court if she did not pay the fine.

According to the local authority, it has made a renewed effort in recent times to check rubbish bins because of litter problems.

Michelle said Greyhound Recycling and Recovery, which collects her refuse, emptied the bin after the warden had taken the photograph.

She insists she did not leave the lid open, though admits a gust of wind could have been to blame.