By Chris Brooke
Residents are being asked to report neighbours for ‘environmental crimes’ such as putting their bins out too early or late.
A council is urging householders to snoop on fellow residents and fill in ‘diary sheets’ to log incidents – the same way it tackles violent anti-social behaviour.
Such ‘crimes’ can be committed by putting bins out at the wrong times or leaving them in the wrong place.
Householders could face a £100 fixed penalty notice or be fined up to £1,000 in court for leaving rubbish next to a bin or blocking a path with a bin.
The clampdown, by Hull City Council, has provoked a furious reaction, with residents insisting they won’t do officials’ ‘dirty work’ for them.
It sent letters to residents of one street after complaints that rubbish had been dumped and wheelie bins left out for days on end.
The letter, from environmental enforcement officer Jeanette Bailey, is headed: ‘Don’t turn a blind eye to environmental crime in your neighbourhood.’
It states that illegally dumped rubbish has the ‘potential to cause a nuisance and pose a health risk to you and your family.’
Residents are asked to put their wheelie bins out no earlier than 7am and collect them back in before 7pm.
The letter warns lawbreakers they will be prosecuted, adding: ‘If you see anyone committing this or anything else you believe may be environmental crime, please complete and return the enclosed diary sheet or contact us immediately.’
But many residents accused the council of going ‘over the top’. Chris Shaw, 37, said: ‘That’s what the Hitler Youth were told to do – inform on everybody. I won’t be filling in any of their crime sheets or reporting anybody.’
Earlier this year it emerged families face stricter recycling demands, tougher fines and having to use smaller wheelie bins under new waste disposal targets.
In March, the growing threat of a stealth tax on our rubbish was exposed by startling figures which showed that more than 2.5million homes now have bins fitted with microchips to weigh their contents.