Council denies rubbish bin ‘snooping’

Islington Council has strongly denied claims it rummaged through 5,000 bins to see if people are recycling.

Liberal Democrat councillors alleged snoopers were checking rubbish and then issuing warnings if residents were failing to recycle.

A compulsory scheme introduced in April means householders who persistently fail to separate their cans from chocolate wrappers could face a �110 fine.

The council has admitted carrying out 8,800 inspections at 5,000 individual homes since then – but denied snooping on the actual rubbish.

Councillor Paul Smith, Islington Council executive member for environment, said the claims were a “complete fabrication”.

He added: “The officers simply observed whether residents were leaving their bins out.

“We did not rummage through 5,000 bins.

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Councillor Terry Stacy, leader of Islington Liberal Democrat group, said: “I am standing by the fact that the council has been rifling through bins.

“My understanding of the term ‘inspection’ is that they are inspecting rubbish not observing. I don’t believe you can justify how someone is not recycling if you’re are not looking at what’s inside.

“Either way residents are being watched and stalked on their own doorstep.”

The council has warned 580 homes for not recycling and 164 of these require further monitoring.

It said that there are three stages before residents are penalised and the first step involves an inspection after no recycling is collected for three weeks.