Nearly 100 town halls ordered secret searches of their residents' rubbish bins last year.Based on what?
The official aim was to find out who was throwing out what to help councils encourage recycling.
But some staff examining the contents of bins also classified residents as well-off or poor.
Old copies of ‘The Sun’, fast-food cartons, ASDA Smartprice food wrappers = poor?
Old copies of ‘The Guardian’, organic ciabatta wrappers, Waitrose food packaging = not poor?
I guess we’ll never know – they don’t seem to want to show their work:
Eleven councils in Kent allowed the bins from more than 2,000 homes to be scrutinised by officials working for the Kent Waste Partnership.Not sure how you could possibly ascertain social status from any of that…
Waste was dumped into a big pile and sorted into 66 different categories, which included ten types of paper and card, 11 types of plastic, five sorts of glass, six kinds of textiles and a miscellaneous category that included disposable nappies, carpet and sanitary waste.
Oh, and this is another own-goal for Labour’s FOIA:
The bin trawls, uncovered through Freedom of Information requests, have been criticised as an invasion of privacy and a waste of effort.Not many people will.
One council chief said he strongly objected to the examination of waste unless specific permission is obtained from the householder.
Jeremy Kite, Tory leader of Dartford in Kent, said: 'I do not believe it is right.'
Or accurate, either…
Obo has some choice words for these literal muckrakers.