Council considers compulsory recycling scheme

LBC plans to overhaul its recycling strategy
LBC plans to overhaul its recycling strategy

Luton Borough Council is weighing up plans to impose fines on residents who fail to recycle household waste, we can reveal.

In recent weeks the authority has come under fire for the amount of rubbish on the town’s streets, prompting the Daily Mail to run a story which was headlined ‘Is Luton the dirtiest town in Britain?’

The worsening problem has been blamed on cutbacks LBC has made to its street cleaning department and critics have urged the council to take a harder stance on fly-tippers.

Cllr Tom Shaw, LBC’s housing and environment portfolio holder, has said that as part of a review the council is now considering “compulsory recycling instead of cuts to cleansing”.

At present Islington Council runs a compulsory recycling scheme, under which those who consistenly flout disposal rules face fines of £110.

LBC say it is among a number of proposals being weighed up.

Deputy leader Sian Timoney told the Luton News: “We are conducting a waste review and as part of that we are looking at how we can increase the amount of recycling, as the amount of money it costs to send waste to landfills is really high.

“Enforcement is part of that. It has not been discussed yet but there are a list of ideas that people in other councils have implemented or binned.”

Under consideration are proposals to recruit and empower a team of officers to visit addresses and serve fines on those dumping waste onto the street.

The borough’s handling of recycling waste is also under review– a process which could see green bins enlarged.

Cllr Timoney said: “We are getting alot of complaints about rubbish on the streets and much of it emanates from landlords who have a high turnover of people moving in and out every six months.

“We want enforcement officers to be able to go and knock on doors so they know which bins are which and when to take them out.

“They could also say ‘I notice you have left a mattress outside’ and charge them to send out the message that it is not acceptable.”

Cllr Timoney suggested that the enforcement officers could also double up as parking wardens.

She added: “These are things that annoy people on a day to day basis.

“Hazel (LBC leader) and I have asked officers to look at ways to fund enforcement, so we can deal with all of these issues.

“We can’t rely on fines paying for this service, as if it works people will not be getting fined.

“We are looking at other ways to fund it.”