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Southampton councillor Don Thomas hits out at 'bin spies' plan
THE task of snooping through wheelie bins has been branded an “inappropriate responsibility” for Hampshire refuse collectors.
As revealed by the Daily Echo, many of the county’s bin men are being asked to spy on what kind of rubbish is being dumped in plastic containers during their rounds.
Civic chiefs want to improve recycling rates by making sure recycling and household waste bins are not contaminated with the wrong materials.
But that means refuse collectors will have to check up on people’s rubbish and in some areas log details of offenders using in-cab technology.
As reported, residents that continue to offend could receive letters, calls, or a knock on the door from council officers – others will not see their waste collected until the contaminated material is removed.
Now Southampton city councillor for Coxford, Don Thomas, has hit out at moves to make bin men spy on residents’ household waste.
Cllr Thomas, who left the council’s Labour group to set up the Labour Councillors Against The Cuts group, said: “This is an extra burden on our hardworking bin men – a burden they could do without. Their job is hard enough without having to act as council snoopers.
“I have got nothing but admiration for the bin men – they work really hard and it was never in their job descriptions in the first place to put this added burden on them. I think it is outrageous.”
His group colleague and fellow Coxford councillor Keith Morrell said it was an “inappropriate responsibility” for bin men.
“I would have thought it was inappropriate to require employees to have to do that kind of thing.”
Council bosses in Southampton, Eastleigh, Fareham, Winchester, Test Valley and the New Forest all say their aim is to educate and encourage residents to place their waste in the right bins, adding that contaminated loads can cause costly disruptions in the recycling process.
Both authorities say the move will improve the service and boost recycling rates.