Most households now have multiple bins that need to be emptied every week, depending on the schedule of your local council.

From general waste to food rubbish and recycling, many of us have had to make way for a lot of bin storage outside our homes.

But as our streets become more crowded on bin days, you might be wondering if it’s against the law to leave them on the pavement.

For those who are at work throughout most of the day or have a trip away planned, your bins could be left out for long periods of time.

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Is it illegal to leave your bins on the pavement?

Although leaving your bins on the pavement isn’t a criminal matter, it does fall under civil law.

“The government has given local authorities the power to issue fines for persistent breaches of the rules,” explains Wheelie Bin Storage Co.

“There are a lot of different rules around bins and rubbish which can cause confusion.

"The government’s advice to councils is that fixed penalty notices should be issued as a last resort.”

Local councils can take action under section 46a of the Environmental Protection Act 1990 and fine people who leave bins on the pavement if:

  • It causes an obstruction such as forcing people with wheelchairs or pushchairs to go on the road
  • Bins are left out for several days, restricting access to the pavement or street
  • Bins and/or bin bags are likely to attract vermin
  • Bins are overturned or damaged and it looks unsightly

How early can you put your bins out in the UK?

Oxford Mail: Have you been fined for leaving your bins out too long before?Have you been fined for leaving your bins out too long before? (Image: Getty)

Wheelie Bin Storage Co reports: “Councils can’t issue fixed penalties for minor issues such as leaving bins out for a few hours before collection.”

It’s recommended people put their bins out later in the evening (the day before collection) or first thing in the morning when it is due to be emptied, around 6am or 7am.

However, you must check with your local council for accurate collection times.

If you know you are going to be away, ask your neighbour to put your bins out and bring them back in to avoid a fixed penalty.

You can find more information about what to expect if you do leave your bins on the pavement for too long on the Wheelie Bin Storage Co website.