Woman fined £ 400 for ‘donating’ microwave Brighton News

A WOMAN was fined £ 400 for throwing in a microwave she wanted to give away as an ‘act of kindness’.

City Council fined Erika Cummings after she was caught by CCTV leaving the kitchen appliance on the ground at the Hollingbury recycling point in Ditchling Road last month.

The recycling point has bins where people can leave plastic bottles, cans, beverage cans, mixed paper and cardboard, and glass bottles, but not commercial waste. She was fined when she left a microwave.

But the 62-year-old told The Argus she was “treated like a criminal” for trying to give the microwave.

The Argus: Erika at the Ditchling Road recycling pointErika at Ditchling Road recycling point

Ms Cummings said she left the device near the clothing bank with a “Help yourself” note.

It is not known if the note was still attached when the microwave was discovered by city council.

She said, “I feel criminalized.

“I understand zero tolerance, but it’s really tough.

“I wasn’t throwing anything away.

“The punishment has to match the crime. If I was a flytipper then yes, fine me.

“It was daylight, I made my car visible and I live two minutes around the corner.

“If I had to fly, I could have walked around at night and no one would be wiser.

“The joke is that I was on my way to the tip but decided to stop and leave the pieces for a donation.

“Brighton and Hove City Council have gone too far this time.”

Argus: the microwaveMicrowave

In March, Brighton and Hove City Council revealed that 851 flytippers had been arrested this year with fines totaling £ 343,000.

Its new CCTV cameras, installed last year, have helped catch 124 people dumping their unwanted waste on our streets, public lands and open spaces, with fines of over £ 50,000.

The other 727 flytippers have been nabbed by its environmental law enforcement officers, often with the help of residents who are fed up with others dumping their waste illegally and creating environmental horror.

READ MORE >> Fly tippers strike six times a day in Brighton and Hove

Brighton and Hove City Council said the act was a “simple case of flytipping” in a “very well” reported area.

A council spokesperson said: ‘The person was caught by CCTV leaving an unwanted microwave and a piece of wooden shelving in Hollingbury’s recycling bins in Ditchling Road on March 28.

“This is a simple tip case and the fine for a tip is £ 400.

“The site is very well signposted and clearly shows that these items are not allowed to stay there.

“Flipping flies is a plague on our city and makes it dirty, unloved and neglected.

“Leaving unwanted items in the hope that someone takes them away, the so-called ‘street treasure’ – whether there is a note on the item or not – is always a tip and those who are caught will be fined £ 400.

“If someone doesn’t want more of an item they own, there are lots of ways to give it away for free, like Gumtree, Freegle, or Facebook Marketplace. They can also be taken to one of our two household waste recycling sites and dropped off there.

“There is no excuse for flipping flies, and no reason to.”

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This notice was published: 2021-04-24 03:00:00