Waste: ‘We’ll get tough, if we have to’

East Devon District Council will not empty over-filled wheelie bins.

East Devon District Council is to adopt a carrot and stick approach to further reduce the amount of waste going to landfill.

No side waste will be collected from February 6 and enforcement action will be taken against those who consistently flout the authority’s collection rules.

The council says it has made recycling more waste a top priority for 2012 and that it aims to get tough, if it has to.

It currently recycles 50 per cent of rubbish across the district.

Now over-filled wheelie bins will not be emptied and will be marked with a sticker. Offending householders will then be contacted by waste management officers.

Councillor Iain Chubb, the authority’s cabinet member for the Environment, said: “It’s vital that we continue to increase the amount we recycle and drive down landfill.

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“To achieve this, we need the co-operation of everyone in East Devon – not just the majority of people.

“We are asking everyone to think even harder about what they put in their wheelie bin or gull sack and to consider whether it can be recycled in either the food (blue) or dry recycling (green) bin.

At the moment, we cannot take cardboard and plastic food trays, but residents can take these to recycling centres themselves, as many already do.

“If we were to continue accepting side waste, we would only be encouraging people to send too many items to landfill.”

The council has pledged to write to anyone who does not comply, offering to advise them how to reduce their landfill waste and even how to pack more material into the landfill bin.

Staff will even visit people in their homes to offer advise, if requested.

“This may sound like a carrot and stick approach – but it is very much more carrot than stick,” said Councillor Chubb.

“Only if people consistently refuse to help will we resort to enforcement.

“It’s such an important issue -if we have to get tough, we will.

“If your bin is tagged, please try to recycle more. If you find this difficult, give us a call”.