Town halls inspect bins on behalf of councils

Local authorities have commissioned surveys to examine waste and identify those who fail to separate rubbish and recycling.

According to a report by The Times, refuse bins have been secretly taken away to be analysed by consultants to check contents for careless waste disposal.

Following a Freedom of Information (FoI) request, The Times reported at least 24 town halls in England took away rubbish to check the contents, in an attempt to improve recycling rates. A report for Reading, Bracknell and Wokingham councils found that the rate of contamination in the recycling bins was 23.8 per cent. However,
consultants maintained that the complexity of what refuse was accepted could be responsible.

The report said: “A householder may believe plastic tubs and aluminium foil are accepted alongside plastic bottles and recyclable tins.”

Upon examination, consultants identified soiled nappies in recycling bins, pieces of wood in garden waste bins and food waste in landfill that could have been suitable for recycled.

Harry Davis, from the TaxPayers’ Alliance, said: “Residents expect their council tax to pay for essential services, not bin inspectors.”

A spokesman for the Local Government Association (LGA) said: “Helping people to understand better what they can and can’t recycle is vital if councils are to spend less on rubbish and more on things like caring for old people and fixing potholes.”