A single mum who works part time in McDonald's was fined a hefty £400 by her local council for leaving a box with some rubbish in it out the back of her house – because she had no bins.
Chloe Rhodes, 23, discovered her wheelie bins were missing when she moved into her privately-rented property in Fenton, near Stoke-on-Trent, in October.
She contacted her landlord, who arranged for Stoke-on-Trent City Council to deliver new ones to the house.
In the meantime, she left a cardboard box containing household rubbish in the alleyway to the rear of the property.
Shocked Chloe was later hit with a fixed penalty notice ordering her to pay a £400 fly-tipping fine within 14 days. The letter arrived just the day before her new bins were delivered, StokeonTrent Live reported.
Chloe, who lives at the address with her four-year-old son Logan, said: "I moved in on October 23. I didn't have a blue bin, a grey bin or a green box.
"I messaged my landlord who sorted it out. I put a box in the alleyway outside my gate. It had a B&M bag in it, it was just some household rubbish that I would have put in the bin if I'd had one.
"I was going to put it out to be collected when I had found out when the bin day was. Because I had only just moved in I didn't know what to do.
"Then I got a fine through addressed to 'The Occupier' saying I had to pay £400 in 14 days. I was gutted."
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The council letter reads: "Please find enclosed a fixed penalty notice. This is being issued to you as you failed in your legal duty to transfer waste to an authorised person."
Chloe, who works part-time at Meir Park McDonald's, says she contacted Stoke-on-Trent City Council to explain the situation, but says her plight fell on deaf ears.
She added: "I phoned the council to explain. They said I should have left the box in the yard, but I didn't want my dog to get into the rubbish and chew it up.
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"I asked them if I could do a payment plan because I couldn't afford to pay £400. At first they said £100 a month which is too much, then £60. It's still too much because I only work 13-and-a-half hours a week and that has been cut recently.
"They said that if I didn't pay they would take me to court. It has been really stressful. It's so unfair – £400 just for a box."
The Daily Star has contacted Stoke-on-Trent City Council for comment.
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