'No cheating the system' – Suffolk Coastal brown bin scheme to employ high-tech tags
PUBLISHED: 20:49 10 August 2018 | UPDATED: 20:49 10 August 2018
People attempting to get their brown bins emptied but haven’t subscribed to the scheme have been warned there is no cheating the system, as high-tech tags are set to be introduced.
In May Suffolk Coastal District Council began charging £43 annually for homes to have their garden waste bins emptied.
Currently those part of the scheme just have stickers on, but the district council has now unveiled plans for high-tech ID tags, which work in a similar way to barcodes.
Data contained within it can be scanned by refuse crews, and tell them which bin has been delivered to which home.
Councillor Carol Poulter, cabinet member for green environment said it would help the council police against misuse.
“The new embedded tags mean our crews will be able to tell exactly which bins are in the garden waste scheme,” she said.
“If they mistakenly try to empty an unsubscribed bin, the lifting mechanism on the refuse vehicle will not work, so there’ll be no cheating the system.”
As part of the £43 charge, homes can upgrade to a larger 240l green bin instead of using their existing 140l brown bin, although council bosses confirmed this was optional, not mandatory.
The council said around 32,000 homes had so far signed up to the garden waste collection service – 56% of homes in the district – with around four in five opting for the new larger bin.
A council spokeswoman confirmed that the green bins will be delivered with the new ID tags, while those who just keep their brown bin will have tags fitted at a later date – set to be revealed next month.
The rollout of the bigger bins is set to get underway properly in October, phased in an area at a time.
Ms Poulter added: “Suffolk Coastal is under increasing pressure financially, with dwindling support from central government.
“This financial year we face a budget gap of over £2.8million.
“Every year, Suffolk Coastal spends £3.5m on dealing with waste disposal.
“So the funds raised through the garden waste scheme will allow us to off-set some of that cost, and take pressure off the council tax payer, for years to come.”
Reuse your brown bin
For those who have opted not to pay for the garden waste collection, or those who are upgrading to the larger green bin, Suffolk Coastal is urging people to be environmentally friendly and reuse their brown bin.
When the rollout of the larger bins gets underway, the council said it would publicise how to present old and unwanted bins for the council to take away.
But people who want to keep them for an alternative use can do so.
A spokeswoman said: “Wheeled bins can be put to use in many different ways such as: tool stores, feed stores, water butts and compost bins, to name a few.
You can tell us when you subscribe to the scheme and we will let you know later when to present your unwanted brown bins for us to remove.
“If you have an unwanted brown bin, look out for the special instructions that we will leave on your grey-lidded bin in the autumn.
“The instructions will tell what to do and when to put your old brown bin out for us to take away.”