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To: Brighton and Hove Council - Councillor Gill Mitchell

Petition Brighton & Hove Council to Terminate 3GS Private Waste Enforcement Contract

Please Terminate 3GS Waste Enforcement Contract in Brighton/ Hove. £600 for 1x cardboard-box placed in the wrong bin is disproportionate.

Why is this important?

Brighton and Hove Council uses a private enforcement company to enforce fines of up to £600 for offences as small as putting one cardboard box in the wrong bin.

Countless Brighton and Hove residents, acting in good faith, have been fined under a system that was designed to target fly-tippers. Faced with a sudden £300- £600 fine for one cardboard box, residents discover that there is no appeal system.

On Monday, 7 March 2016 Brighton and Hove Council put out a press release promising to "encourage everyone to produce less waste and recycle more."

While we wholeheartedly agree with this honourable principle, what the Council did next has created an almighty mess.

The press release went on:
"The officers, employed by private company 3GS Environmental Solutions, have already begun patrolling in the city."

Over the following year private company 3GS, based in Hampshire, began a campaign of heavy handed enforcement without regard for proportionality of common sense. Residents who accidentally put cardboard from small businesses (such as home run businesses) in domestic recycling bins, were fined up to £600 PER cardboard box. This is still ongoing and flies in the face of common sense.

Tactics used by 3GS on residents who have used the wrong bins (not fly tippers) have included intimidation - using “officers” and cameras. Threatening letters mentioning imminent court appearances, repeated emails containing obscure incomprehensible language.

We maintain that the fine is out of proportion. We believe the treatment is unnecessary.

We urge Councillor Gill Mitchell, chair of the environment, transport and sustainability committee, to review the contract with 3GS, and to terminate the contract immediately.

How it will be delivered

This petition will be delivered by email and by hand to Councillor Gill Mitchell.

Brighton and Hove

Maps © Stamen; Data © OSM and contributors, ODbL


2018-11-21 16:38:45 +0000

1,000 signatures reached

2018-10-25 14:51:47 +0100

Please continue to share the petition. 3GS are unsuitable for the work of keeping Brighton clean & safe. We believe their tactics are underhand, bullying and misdirected. Often they are targeting people who believe they are using the correct bin and acting in good faith.

2018-02-26 14:05:42 +0000

500 signatures reached

2018-02-21 20:10:10 +0000

Yesterday Channel 5 visited Brighton & Hove with Ruth Langsford and Eamonn Holmes to cover the 3GS story. A new consumer show "Do The Right Thing" will air in March with the Brighton City Council/ 3GS scandal leading as part of the opening epsode.  The programme will focus on people doing good deeds, and highlight companies behaving badly.

2018-02-07 08:44:20 +0000

Almost 2 months after my fine was issued 3GS have finally provided photographic evidence of the offending cardboard box. 3GS gives 10 days to pay a fine. The company also endeavours to answer emails within 10 days- some business owners feel this is no coincidence. - Ali Mapletoft

2018-02-04 12:49:21 +0000

Feedback from small business owners on Facebook “Brighton People” Page suggests that an overwhelming number of business owners want to recycle but do not have the facility to do so as the bins and bags provided to them by the council are not currently part of a recycling scheme. This is because the council considers small amounts of waste too small to recycle. This leaves conscientious small business owners with 2 choices, bin their recycling or break the law to recycle in domestic bins.

2018-02-03 12:43:36 +0000

Hove MP Peter Kyle has stated in a letter to me : " I will pursue this to the very best of my abilities."
Many more residents and small business owners are coming forward. If you are affected in Hove please write to Peter Kyle. If you are in Brighton, please write to Caroline Lucas. Progress is slowly happening - Ali Mapletoft

2018-02-02 17:57:57 +0000

The next meeting of the Environment and Transport Committee - is on 20th March, 4pm at Hove Town Hall. The petition will be presented to Councillor Gill Mitchell.

2018-02-02 13:31:31 +0000

I have received an email from Pete Kyle saying he will raise this with The Chair of Environment, Transport and Sustainability Committee at the Council. He feels that the fines are not proportionate.

“ You will see that the guidance allows for a maximum of £400, Brighton and Hove City Council imposes a fine of £300.
I find this unsatisfactory, because there is no differentiation made between a large business fly-tipping (we would all agree this is bad) and a small business/sole trader who disposes of one box in an environmentally-friendly way.” Peter Kyle

Post- Ali Mapletoft

2018-02-01 07:49:34 +0000

Complain Formally if this has happened to you- Anyone who has experienced issues with 3GS and Brighton & Hove City Council should make a formal complaint to BHCC. The Council will be legally obliged to appoint a person to deal with the complaint.

Formal complaint - first stage
Your complaint will be handled by the service you're complaining about. You can talk to them again if you are unhappy with parts of their reply.

Formal complaint - second stage
If you are still unhappy you can ask to take your complaint to Stage 2 where it will be looked at by the Customer Feedback Team, who are independent of the department your complaint is about.

The Ombudsman
If you are still not satisfied with the response you can approach the Local Government Ombudsman.

I will be filing a formal complaint- Ali Mapletoft

2018-01-31 21:34:18 +0000

The story of my £600 box has aired on BBC Southern News. Brighton MP Caroline Lucas has put her support behind local businesses. I will now make a formal complaint to Brighton And Hove City Council about the actions of 3GS and the Council themselves. They will be legally obliged to appoint a person to pursue the complaint. - Ali Mapletoft

2018-01-31 19:07:05 +0000

I have emailed 3GS for a comment on the case of my own £600 fine for a cardboard box placed in the wrong bin. 3GS have not yet commented. I'm not able to contact the Deputy Team Leader - ‎3GS Environmental Enforcement in Brighton and Hove as I am blocked on Linked In by their account. - Ali Mapletoft

2018-01-31 17:23:31 +0000

100 signatures reached

2018-01-31 12:53:50 +0000

The petition was briefly disabled because I had mentioned the name of the Deputy Team Leader - ‎3GS Environmental Enforcement in Brighton and Hove. I have invited him to comment, he has blocked me on Linked In. However I hope that he will join me on one of the upcoming TV and radio features. - Ali Mapletoft

2018-01-31 12:49:50 +0000

Councillor Gill Mitchell has invited me to preset the petition to her at the next meeting of the Environment and Transport Committee - 20th March, 4pm at Hove Town Hall. - Ali Mapletoft