By David Derbyshire
£1,000 fine for using wrong bin: Families face new crackdown over household waste
Householders could be fined up to £1,000 if they fail to comply with complex new rules on refuse sorting.
Food scraps, tea bags and vegetable peelings thrown into the wrong dustbin could land them with hefty penalties under government plans to be unveiled today.
Families could end up with five different bins and receptacles – including compulsory slop buckets for food waste – and be forced to sift through rubbish for anything that can be recycled, reused or converted into electricity.
The proposals are the brainchild of environment secretary Hilary Benn, who wants to banish all food, cans, paper and glass from landfill sites to increase recycling rates and slash greenhouse gas emissions.
Residents who persistently flout the rules by not sorting rubbish properly or refusing to recycle would be fined.
The Tories last night condemned any moves to impose financial penalties on families already struggling with soaring bills.
Matthew Elliott, chief executive of the Taxpayers’ Alliance, said: ‘People already pay huge sums in council tax and now face the threat of extra fines if they throw out the wrong things.
‘Hilary Benn would do well to remember that the public sector are there to serve not to boss us around.
‘Taxpayers will be angry at the prospect of bin and kitchen inspectors checking up on them. Without these inspectors, the rules will be unenforceable, but with them they are unacceptable and mean added costs.’
The plans for fines of up to £1,000 will be announced in a consultation document published by Mr Benn’s Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs and the Welsh Assembly today.
It proposes more fines if food, glass, cans and other recyclables are buried in the ground rather than recycled or used to generate green electricity.
Slop buckets, already used to collect food scraps in millions of homes, would be extended to the whole country, adding another bin to the three or four already parked in many gardens and drives.
Councils would be under greater pressure to enforce recycling rules, and to use fines to punish those who refuse to cut down on their waste.
But even councils warned that compulsory slop buckets would go down badly.