Bin Brother is watching you

Eye-spy binmen will soon be knocking on doors in Wolverhampton — to tick off residents for not recycling their rubbish.

Officials are keeping records on which households do not put out their recycling boxes each fortnight and will be personally visiting addresses to ask why.

The move, which will come into force from April, has prompted concern from some councillors, who say the policy smacks of Big Brother.

Currently, council teams are placing red and white labels on the bins of addresses identified as not recycling paper, glass and cans.

Wolverhampton City Council insisted today its staff are not looking inside people’s bins to see what they are throwing away.

But they admit noting down which homes do not use their recycling boxes.

Bosses say they will now knock on doors from April to remind people to use the boxes, which are emptied every fortnight.

Wolverhampton Waste and Recycling Partnership found that use of the green boxes is “particularly poor” in areas like Bilston, The Scotlands, Low Hill, Bushbury, Whitmore Reans and Dunstall Park.

But the stickers have also been found on bins in Tettenhall.

Councillor Barry Findlay, who represents Tettenhall Regis, said: “It does seem a bit like spying and I can understand why some people will not like this.”

Councillor Wendy Thompson, who represents Tettenhall Wightwick and has been given a sticker, said: “I have raised this with the council as I think the stickers could be taken the wrong way.”

Jayne Willis, waste policy manager at the city council, said: “We do not look inside people’s bins but we carried out a survey before Christmas.

“In one area where we put the stickers out we increased the amount recycled on that round by five tons that week.

“If, on the day we did the survey the household did not put the recycling box out, we will visit them. Of course, this is not 100 per cent accurate as someone may have just forgotten that week or may have been on holiday.

“We certainly have no plans to fine anybody for not recycling but we want to do all we can to encourage them to participate.”

http://www.expressandstar.com/2008/02/14/bin-brother-is-watching-you/