City to begin monitoring use of black bin bags

One of the green labels indicating a breach of the rules
One of the green labels indicating a breach of the rules
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RESIDENTS who leave extra black bags next to their overflowing bins will be added to a new city council database and monitored to ensure they start complying with the rules, it emerged today.

Housholders who continue to put out excess rubbish in the wake of new fortnightly collections can then expect a visit from a team of enforcers.

And anyone still persistently flouting the regulations is then likely to be hit with an on-the-spot litter fine.

The strategy emerged as the city council continued to face complaints about mounting rubbish following the 
controversial changes to bin collections.

One in ten bins across the city – around 7500 – were not collected on time following the changes, with a switch in bin men’s shift patterns leading to some streets being missed out entirely.

The city council believes the backlog will be cleared by the end of the weekend and will then start the eight-week “awareness” campaign which will identify problem areas and regular “offenders”.

Part of this, which has already begun in some areas, will see excess rubbish not collected but replaced in the bin with a green tag telling residents they are in breach of the rules.

Robert Pearson, from Muirhouse Green, said his street had already been targeted for enforcement.

“I think it’s an absolute 
disgrace and a bit rich for the council to warn folk about overflowing bins when the reason the bins are full is because they’ve failed to collect them. All the bins along my street had a tag. They should spend more time lifting the bins and less time going around writing and handing out tags.”

During the campaign, bin men will be noting addresses for the database to identify both those who are not complying and others who may need help.

Visits will then be carried out and it is understood that if the householder still does not comply, fines may ultimately be issued.

The new fortnightly collections began last week in a bid to force residents to recycle and reduce the amount of rubbish being sent to landfill. The new system means all homes in the city which have individual wheelie bins will now have their green domestic waste bins and brown garden waste bins picked up on the same day on alternate weeks.

Grey food waste recycling bins will continue to be picked up weekly. The council says food accounts for around a third of rubbish in an average bin, so the food recycling collections should mean less general rubbish is going out in the green wheelie bins. Council environment convener, Lesley Hinds, said today: “The bin tags are part of a phased approach to inform people about the changes to 
collections. This is a gradual process that will cut down on the costly and environmentally damaging waste that the city sends to landfill sites.

“We recognise that it will take people time to adapt to these changes and the object of this exercise is not to penalise people but to draw their attention to the need to cut back on waste.”