Fury at

By Patrick Lowman.A COUNCIL has been accused of behaving like Big Brother by employing “bin police” to check people are disposing of their recyclable waste correctly.

By Patrick Lowman.

A COUNCIL has been accused of behaving like Big Brother by employing “bin police” to check people are disposing of their recyclable waste correctly.

Furious residents said they were disgusted after discovering Babergh District Council has employed a team of “waste detectives” to check its controversial twin bin system was not being abused.

The council's Sort It Crew was launched last year and the four-member team aim to encourage people to recycle more.


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It also visits parishes and knocks on doors to give advice about how residents can dispose of their waste more efficiently.

The promotional exercise - which is funded by the Government - is designed to help Babergh District Council improve its recycling figures through its controversial bin system, which sees blue bins used for recyclables and black bins for usual domestic waste collected on alternative weeks.

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As part of its duties, the Sort It Crew is now checking individual blue bins to ensure residents are not putting in their domestic waste.

It is believed members of the crew then document what is found in the blue bins before offering advice to the household concerned.

Peggy Dale, from Boxford, said: “I think this is disgusting. It is an infringement on our liberty. The council is behaving like Big Brother and I think it is a cheek for people to come around looking in our bins.

“This seems like a real waste of money and I have never heard of anything like it. The council just seems to do what it wants whether we like it or not.”

Another resident from Leavenheath was so furious when he found a member of the Sort It Crew looking through the contents of his bin that he penned a stinging letter that has now been published in his parish newsletter.

It said: “Surely to have bin police is going too far. We pay vast amounts of money each and every month to have services provided, but I do not expect to see money being wasted in this way.

“When enforcement is heavy-handed, the response will not be favourable. This half-hearted exercise is nothing but a cost-cutting exercise, but money saved is not being used to benefit the community.

“Our money being wasted on futile exercises collecting data. Listen to what people are saying and have the courage to change your minds.”

A spokesman for Babergh District Council defended the Sort It Crew scheme, saying it was designed to help provide “first-hand information” about what to put in each bin, while also providing advice about managing waste.

“There is no intent to pursue legal action or force householders to 'co-operate' - Babergh residents have proven that they don't need threats and we are sure that the majority wishes to see recycling pursued to achieve a better, more sustainable environment,” he added.

Babergh District Council introduced the twin bin scheme last year and claimed it had been a huge success by increasing recycling rates, with more than 850 tonnes of waste being recycled per month.

But the scheme prompted complaints from residents who were furious that their usual domestic waste was now only collected once a fortnight.

They also claimed fortnightly collections had become a health hazard, leaving their bins stinking and infested with maggots.

patrick.lowman@eadt.co.uk

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