You’d better close your trash bin tightly, or else. At least if you live in England. Reports the New York Times:
But when Gareth Corkhill, a bus driver, was fined $215 — and given a further $225 fine and a criminal record when he failed to pay — for leaving his garbage can lid slightly ajar this spring, Whitehaven’s residents banded together in dismay. They raised the money to pay the fine, and they began to complain.
“I consider the fine against Mr. Corkhill to be a matter of injustice, really, and as a Christian minister I’m required to speak out against injustice,” declared the Rev. John Bannister, the rector of Whitehaven, a seaside town in Cumbria, in the far northwest. Referring to the garbage cans residents here use, he said, “To be given a criminal record for leaving your wheelie bin open by three inches has, I think, really gone beyond the bounds of responsible behavior.”
Across Europe, residents are struggling to adjust to a new era of garbage rules. Britain, particularly, is in the midst of a trash crisis, with dwindling landfill space and one of Europe’s poorest recycling records. Threatened with steep fines if they dump too much trash, local governments around the country are imposing strict regimens to force residents to produce less and recycle more.
Amazing to think that Britain once was the home of classical liberal thought. But then, the U.S. isn’t very far behind, is it?