To have told these guys to get off my driveway? (Bin)

(154 Posts)
TheViewFromTheCheapSeats Wed 24-Nov-21 08:44:27

Thursday is bin day, wheelie bins are out at the boundary for collection. Other days my bins are near the kitchen door as it practical, round the back/at the side corner of the house.
Last night (Tuesday) in the dark I was a bit freaked out to hear people right outside my back door about 8:30pm. Just me and the kids home. Two guys, one with a clipboard, one with a torch looking in a bin were there.
They’d walked down my drive and down the side of my house to look in bins by the back door (you’d just about see them from the front as one bin was sticking out).
I was a bit shocked, thought they could be identify thieves / burglars casing at first and shouted ‘oi, get out! Out! What you doing?! Get out my garden!’ out of the upstairs window.
I followed to the front door and opened it and the guy was all defensive-that it’s his job to check bins for the council to see we haven’t put anything in them not allowed. Apparently everyone else understands this and has no problem/ he doesn’t expect to be shouted at.
I didn’t swear or carry on shouting, but I think most people would shout at two guys in the dark they found rummaging in their back garden? I just stepped out and locked the side gate and told them they could check in collection days as much as they like, but they have no right to enter as they please. Speaking to others they are definitely from the council.

1. In the dark wandering around houses isn’t on
2. What is in my bin outside collection days is my business, the kids sometimes make recycling mistakes and before I put the bins out I check the rubbish is in the correct bin
3. The bin men will only take the bins from the boundary, not even two foot down the drive. So why can these guys walk around the house?

He also popped a letter through the door after a few minutes that’s a warning letter about the recycling, threatening an £80 fine if we put out non-recycling items again. He’s written in the blank space there was ‘food packaging’ in the recycling bin. Apparently they have recorded this. I’ve been to check the in bin this morning and I can’t see anything in the wheelie bin that’s not allowed! There’s food packaging like clean Tins etc, but nothing not on the website list. Also, the bloody bin wasn’t even out for collection.

Aibu to write a complaint? Partly regarding the first step of an £80 fine!

OP’s posts: |
RealMermaid Wed 24-Nov-21 08:50:48

Given that they showed up in the dark and didn't knock on your door, this is essentially covert surveillance for which the council will need to have approval under the regulation of investigatory powers act. I suggest you complain and ask to see their RIPA approval.

LawnFever Wed 24-Nov-21 08:51:46

Yanbu, they shouldn’t be in your garden especially when it’s so dark at 8.30pm, I’d have done the same!

Complain, if they want to check the recycling they should do it when bins are out on collection days.

FestiveMayo Wed 24-Nov-21 08:54:25

That's so weird! I too would have thought they were looking for bank statements etc.

Budapestdreams Wed 24-Nov-21 08:54:40

I would be calling the council today to check out their story. I wouldn't be happy either, that is trespassing.

TheViewFromTheCheapSeats Wed 24-Nov-21 08:55:47

@RealMermaid that’s an interesting point. They’ve apparently been doing it all over the Borough. I’d understand if they were walking ahead of the truck checking the bins that were out, but two days before what’s the crime? There’s no law/ rule. against storing anything in a wheelie, just against putting incorrect waste out. They even make you pay for the bins now so they can’t argue they are their property either.

OP’s posts: |
TheViewFromTheCheapSeats Wed 24-Nov-21 08:57:00

@Budapestdreams people elsewhere in the area have already confirmed this it turns out. There was a bunch of fb posts already about them when I logged on to check our local groups.

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thelegohooverer Wed 24-Nov-21 08:57:17

I don’t think the police have the powers that the council have granted their bin men. That’s mad.

TheViewFromTheCheapSeats Wed 24-Nov-21 08:57:50

I’m also annoyed at the first steps fine letter for ‘food packaging’!

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Horst Wed 24-Nov-21 08:58:14

Yeah that doesn’t sounds right to enter your property as in your land and then start going though your bins.

Horst Wed 24-Nov-21 08:58:44

I mean obviously they are doing it. But it’s not right.

corblimeygov Wed 24-Nov-21 09:01:10

Still speak with the council as my bet is they are just chancers who are nothing to do with the council. Just happy to collect fines and scare people .

Coughee Wed 24-Nov-21 09:01:54

That's outrageous! Our area does the people checking the bins on actual bin day but they can't possibly believe they have the right to go on your property like that. I would absolutely complain. I got a threatening letter because one of my kids put a satsuma peel in the general waste /black bin bag. I pointed out this was a bit over zealous on the council Facebook page and they came round and apologised to me!

Somebodylikeyew Wed 24-Nov-21 09:02:33

That’s awful, on both fronts. I would complain.

Sweetpeasaremadeforbees Wed 24-Nov-21 09:02:36

If they'd done that round here (pretty rural) they'd have had the police called on them. DH was away last night and if I'd seen people sneaking round our house in the dark I'd have assumed they were planning on nicking our trailer. Were the council actually aware that their employees were doing this?

thenightsky Wed 24-Nov-21 09:03:00

I thought food packaging was meant to be recycled. So it's classed as landfill rubbish now?? confused

CasparBloomberg Wed 24-Nov-21 09:04:51

I would have also screamed at them, demanded they get off the property and be putting in complaints about how intimidating it is to find their officials in a part of the property that I would not expect strangers to access at night. How scary and appalling to make people feel afraid and have no empathy of what residents might feel.

Id get angry and be putting everything in the rubbish bin, no recycling no problem and screw their nationally set recycling targets, until they backed down. We are crazy strict recyclers with boxes in the garage of all the things the council don’t take that we then batch and take to other various locations but this action would right put me off being a compliant citizen for their rubbish.

The council has two approaches to improve recycling quality and by intimidating residents, they’re taking the wrong one.

starfishmummy Wed 24-Nov-21 09:05:07

I think I would be speaking to the relevant council department about it. First there's the coming on to your property without permission, but at 8.30 at night in the dark is just a very strange time for them to be working.
I'm surprised two "guys" going into people's gardens after dark have not had the police.called on them!!

Sweetpeasaremadeforbees Wed 24-Nov-21 09:07:06

Depends what you mean by food packaging. A lot of the cellophane-y stuff can't be recycled at kerbside (though some LIDL stores are running a trial to collect it) but tins, glass and some plastics obviously can. And obviously it varies from council to council.

Aprilx Wed 24-Nov-21 09:07:08

I think they were fortunate you didn’t call the police on them, if I heard and saw two men rummaging around the side of my house, that is what I would have done.

TheViewFromTheCheapSeats Wed 24-Nov-21 09:09:37

I don’t believe they are council employees/ the bin men (who are always very pleasant). They contract a private company for fixed penalty fines etc, it has a link with the companies logo too.

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TreborBore Wed 24-Nov-21 09:10:34

YANBU - Ridiculous. It will also make it easier for identify thieves and other dodgy characters to pose as bin checkers if caught lurking by your home. Definitely ring the council and email your MP if you don’t get a satisfactory answer.

TheViewFromTheCheapSeats Wed 24-Nov-21 09:11:01

Our council sub contract everything and if you complain they try to say they can’t deal with complaints and you need to deal with the company…

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Skysblue Wed 24-Nov-21 09:11:20

They’re trespassing. That’s unlawful.

It’s up to you what you store in your bins on your property. When the bin is out on the street for collection that’s different, but covert surveillance of your stuff on your property is illegal (unless authorised by a judge or secretary of state for legitimate reasons like investigating terrorism).

Threatening you with a fine when you hadn’t even put your bin out (and clearly because you had stood up for your rights) is abuse of power and corrupt.

You should definitely complain to the council, and personally I would also make a non-urgent police complaint about harassment, re the guy using his position to take petty revenge for you telling him off for trespassing. Harassment is a crime that requires two incidents. This man trespassed on your property at nighttime, did covert surveillance of the contents of your bins, then failed to leave when asked (unlawful) and sought to intimidate you when you objected and then he abused his position of power to purport to give you an ‘official warning’ and threaten a fine for behaviour that was perfectly legal as the bins weren’t out. Sounds like harassment to me.

I’m sorry that this happened to you.

AtlasPine Wed 24-Nov-21 09:12:10

Even police have to have a warrant to search your property. We pay for our bins here too - until they’re put out for emptying, no one should be on your property searching through your bins. Not to mention scaring you after dark! What a cheek. I’d take this much further.

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