Waste collection crews are being issued with devices featuring GPS technology that allow councils to store a history of information about individual rubbish collections, including whether householders are failing to recycle properly.Hope those fines will be printed on recyclable paper….
The system feeds binmen with up-to-the minute information about houses they are visiting.
It also provides local authorities with enough information to issue recycling advice or automated fines to residents who fail to obey bin rules.
Under the government's pay-as-you-throw plans, councils were offered the chance to give rebates to households producing the least waste or impose penalties of up to £50 on those who failed to recycle.Tim Worstall points out that this isn’t a ‘government pay-as-you-throw plan’ at all; it stems, once again, from the EU’s desire to reduce landfill.
The trials would have begun in April but the Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) said not one of 388 councils had volunteered to test the taxes.
But in a sterling example of the fact that technology itself is neutral, the director of the company points out it can be used for ‘pull’ as well as ‘push’ options:
Colin Webb, managing director of Bartec Systems, said: "The technology could be used differently if recycling moves in a different political direction. It could be used for the scheme proposed by Defra for pay-as-you-throw or it could be used for a scheme such as the one proposed by the Conservatives for incentive-based recycling which we would actually prefer. It is up to councils how they use it."There’s a question to ask your local representatives next time they beg for your vote…