A mum-of-three was locked up by police after putting her recycling out in the wrong colour bin bags.
Lyndsey Webb, 34, was caught dumping household waste in black bags on three occasions in Ipswich, Suffolk, a court heard.
She claims she had requested orange bags from the council but they never arrived at her home.
Webb was summonsed to Suffolk Magistrates’ Court by the council to face four offences of fly tipping household waste.
She was arrested by police and put in a custody cell after she failed to appear and a warrant was issued.
Webb was eventually released without being convicted – although she was ordered to pay £50 to Ipswich Borough Council.
She was also given a six-month conditional discharge after appearing before magistrates via video link from the police station.
She was arrested on a warrant after failing to attend court in April.
After the hearing, Webb told the Telegraph: “All I did was get the colour of my rubbish bags wrong and I’ve suddenly got two police officers at my door arresting me in front of my kids.
“It’s ridiculous. They didn’t even send me the orange ones on time. They take so long to collect the rubbish anyway nowadays – I’ve had rats crawling around.
“We’re all totally in the dark. These people have put me and my family through a total nightmare.”
Ipswich Borough Council prosecuted the mother for breaching the Environmental Protection Act four times near her flat in the town in March.
The council said she had breached changes to bin collection system rules earlier this year, when residents without storage space were no longer permitted to deposit black bags on the street.
Their prosecutor, Richard Essex, said “well-publicised” changes saw black bags replaced with orange and clear bags for waste separation.
Residents had been advised to contact the council to get stocks of orange bags, where relevant, and start using them from March.
Webb was accused after about 60 large black rubbish bags were dumped in a street over a 22-day period.
The rubbish was reported by a warden, who saw a pile of 10 black bags on the pavement on March 4.
A search of the contents found bills addressed to Webb, who was recorded on CCTV the next night making two journeys to deposit more bags on the street.
On another occasion, she was recorded pushing a trolley of bags at 3.30am.
Mr Essex claimed £600 to cover the cost of clearing up the waste and £200 towards the prosecution.
Jeremy Kendall, for Webb, said she had used black bags without issue until March, when orange bags she had requested never arrived.
He said Webb was “given permission to put black bags in the same position for collection – albeit on collection days”.
He added: “She has three children, who generate quite a bit of waste. She made no attempt to be underhand.
“While unseemly, it didn’t inconvenience anyone directly because the bins were left outside a boarded up shop.”
She failed to attend court in April because she never received a summons, he said.
“It’s pretty distressing for her to be taken into custody.”