Council tenants to face penalties over bin bungles

Bin collecting in Platt Bridge
Bin collecting in Platt Bridge

Council house tenants should face court fines if they refuse to recycle, town hall chiefs have recommended.

The proposal is part of a report set to be presented to council bosses on how the local authority can boost its current levels to save funds.

Tenants who fail to recycle properly would face serious sanctions if the proposals are adopted by the town hall.

The report, compiled by a “task and finish” group comprising of Labour councillors, reveals the cash-strapped local authority loses out on some £200,000 each year through residents incorrectly filling waste bins.

And the new measures recommended for social housing tenants come as the council has recently assumed responsibility for Wigan and Leigh Homes (WALH).

The organisation had up until recent months been an arm’s length management organisation.

The list of recommendations reads: “Officers (should) consider reviewing the terms of WALH tenancy agreements to include the requirement for tenants to recycle and the ability to issue section 46 notices to those tenants that failed to recycle correctly or did not recycle at all.”

Section 46 notices are a legal warning that if breached can result in on-the-spot fines and potential further legal action for refusal to pay.

The report reveals 4,734 contaminated bins were recorded for the 12 month period ending in April this year.

Of those, blue bins (paper and cardboard) were the most frequent with 1,875 contaminations, many due to pizza leftovers being left in boxes.

Meanwhile, 1,640 brown bin contaminations were recorded along with 1,219 green bins.

“Eliminating” contamination alone, the report states, “would increase income to the council in the region of £200,000”.

Council bosses have introduced a new controversial three-weekly rota for black bin collection that they hope will stimulate recycling rates.

The current level stands at 42 per cent with the town hall desperate to hit 50 per cent by 2020 to avoid huge fines.