Council fits £1 microchips to food recycling bins to catch ‘cheats’

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Council fits £1 microchips to food recycling bins to catch ‘cheats’ who contaminate them with incorrect items

  • Denbighshire County Council in north Wales to fit microchips into food bins
  • Bin crews will use chip readers to report whether they have been ‘contaminated’
  • Repeat offenders could face fines of £100 if they place incorrect items in bins

Microchips on food recycling bins will be used to monitor if households are contaminating waste.

In what is thought to be a UK first, £1 tags will be placed on caddies – and repeat offenders could face £100 fines. The tags – which have been likened to supermarket barcodes – can be ‘read’ each time the container is emptied and the information uploaded into a central database.

Under a six-month trial, Denbighshire County Council in north Wales will fit microchips to food bins at around 600 properties in a bid to increase recycling rates.

Microchips on food recycling bins will be used to monitor if households are contaminating waste (stock image)

Microchips on food recycling bins will be used to monitor if households are contaminating waste (stock image)

Each time the orange caddies are emptied, bin crews will use chip readers to report whether they have been ‘contaminated’ with incorrect items.

Tara Dumas, the council’s waste and recycling manager, said: ‘The microchips will automatically provide us with data telling us who is regularly recycling. 

‘If the caddy is contaminated we can record this and send information to the household to reinforce what we can and cannot accept.’

The aim is to increase the amount of food waste being recycled to enable the council to meet its target of 64 per cent. The initiative, launched on November 11, will involve parts of Corwen, Ruthin, Rhyl and Prestatyn.

Under a six-month trial, Denbighshire County Council in north Wales will fit microchips to food bins at around 600 properties (stock image)

Under a six-month trial, Denbighshire County Council in north Wales will fit microchips to food bins at around 600 properties (stock image)

Householders can opt out if they wish. The council says it will impose fines for not separating food waste only as a ‘last resort’.

It claims the average family can save £700 by reducing the amount of food it wastes.

Millions of UK wheelie bins and recycling containers are now fitted with microchips to enable them to be tracked, prompting concerns over ‘snooping’.

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