Council chiefs devise fool-proof plan to catch locals putting garden waste in with normal trash3 min read

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Rubbish idea! Council chiefs devise fool-proof plan to catch locals putting garden waste in with normal trash… by getting binmen to ‘rattle’ the bins

  • The bizarre crackdown was proposed by Stratford-on-Avon District Council
  • Homeowners recently told they would be charged £40 for a bin for garden waste
  • But town hall chiefs were worried that people would try and dodge the fee

Council chiefs have devised a fool-proof plan to catch homeowners sneaking garden waste in with their domestic rubbish by getting binmen to rattle the bins.

The bizarre crackdown was proposed by Stratford-on-Avon District Council. 

Homeowners in the area were recently told that they would be charged £40 for a green wheelie bin to be used for garden waste only.

But town hall chiefs were worried that people would try and dodge the fee by slipping green waste in with their domestic rubbish.

The council is now considering telling binmen to rattle the bins and listen for tell-tale sounds of grass cuttings and branches before emptying them. 

Bin lorries will also be fitted with CCTV cameras to inspect the contents of bins when they are emptied into the compressor.

Residents will face being slapped with a hefty fine if they are caught putting the wrong items in their bins more than three times.

Councillor Ian Shenton spoke at during a meeting of the council’s overview and scrutiny committee and said: ‘We do have the ability to use the three strikes and out rule.

‘We are going to get a lot tighter on this and will be looking closely at what’s in the bins going forward.

‘If it’s right down the bottom it is going to be a problem but at some point you are going to make a mistake and put something at the top.

‘Genuine mistakes are one thing but persistent behaviour won’t be tolerated and we will enforce the three strikes – after that we will only pick up the bin if it has been emptied and refilled correctly with the stuff that should have been in the blue or green bin taken out.

‘We are never going to stop people putting things in the wrong bin but we need to get the message out there that we are not going to tolerate contamination.

‘We have to get more aggressive about this.

‘Binmen have what they call a “rattle test” to detect certain things when they shake the bin.

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‘They can tell by the sound that comes back whether that bin has large quantities of stuff in there that shouldn’t be.’  

Homeowners in the area have since blasted the new strategy.

John Travers, 45, said: ‘It’s a bonkers idea. How the hell is someone going to be able to tell if grass is in the bottom of the bin just by shaking it?

‘What are binmen going to be asked to do next, kick the bins and see what the echo tells them about what’s inside?’

Mother-of-two Janet Fellows, 32, added: ‘I actually thought it was a wind up until I read the councillor actually said the words “rattle test”.

‘How do you even train someone to know what grass cuttings sound like simply be shaking a bin around? It’s plain daft to me.’

The council will start charging householders to collect green waste in June this year. 

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