Papa John's branch in Edinburgh was hit with a £50 fixed penalty by the city council after the bin near Leith Walk was removed and replaced by waste services. The restaurant chain said the incident was due to an "inexperienced employee" and procedures had been implemented to ensure it does not happen again.
It was spotted by civil servant Ailsa Burn-Murdoch, 31, who tweeted a photograph, which was then forwarded by dozens of social media users. She said: "I've never seen anything like it. I saw this dough monster.
"At first I thought someone had put insulation in the bin as a prank, but I realised it was outside a Papa John's and it must be pizza dough."
The council's environment convener Lesley Hinds said: "While this may be an isolated mistake, the abuse of domestic bins by businesses restricts capacity for the public and increases disposal costs. A fine has been issued to the franchise owner."