A 12-year-old girl has been fined £50 for illegally dumping domestic waste after her name and address was found on cardboard beside a Kent recycling bin.
Diane Fountain's daughter was warned about a jail term
Diane Fountain, Anna's mother, said the bin was overflowing at Christmas.
She said a letter warned them of a possible £50,000 penalty or jail term, fining them £50 "for clear-up costs".
Tunbridge Wells Council said there was capacity in the bin, but they had not realised they had written to a child and would reconsider the situation.
Spokesman Gary Stevenson said: "Unfortunately we did find a box next to the recycling site.
"There was capacity in the bin, and we feel it should have been put in there rather than being left to blow around."
He said waste levels in the bins were kept under control and sites kept clean and tidy with daily visits in the week, and twice-daily visits at weekends, while cardboard bins were emptied three times a week.
Mr Stevenson said Tunbridge Wells borough residents had fortnightly doorstep collections of cardboard and paper, and were the second-best recyclers in Kent.
Mrs Fountain and her daughter, of Eridge, East Sussex, had travelled from neighbouring Wealden borough to use the recycling site.