Householders who put ‘the wrong sort of rubbish’ in their bins are to face re-education visits from council officers at their homes.
They will be told how they are failing to recycle properly and will be encouraged to ‘do better’.
Bureaucrats are using microchips placed in bins to measure the volume of rubbish thrown away – and the contents may also be analysed in a search for plastic, glass or other items that should have been recycled instead.
Those who break strict rules will first be contacted in writing, but may be confronted by a council officer on their doorstep if they offend again.
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The first council to announce such a scheme denies the new policy is a ‘Big Brother’ totalitarian-style move – but has admitted the chips could one day be used to charge householders on the volume of rubbish discarded.
Many other councils – many of which have already reduced rubbish collections to once a fortnight, leading to problems with rats and other vermin – are likely to follow with similarly intrusive schemes. Some 2million bin chips have now been fitted.
But it is the visits by council officers to suburban doorsteps that, say critics, smack of the ‘re-education’ brainwashing schemes undertaken in communist China.
Many local authorities have shied away from trialling the use of tiny microchips in wheely bins – but some environmentalists remain keen on the eventual introduction of a ‘pay as you throw’ tax, with the volume of rubbish measured by the chips determining extra tax bills.