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Dad's green bin seized for six months over 'incorrect items' ADVISORS USED TO 'SNOOP ON RESIDENTS' BINS'.

Byline: TONY EARNSHAW tony.earnshaw@reachplc..com @TonyEarnshaw LDR

KIRKLEES Council is using "advisors" to snoop on the contents of residents' recycling bins.

And they are confiscating green bins from people who have been twice caught putting non-recyclable items out for collection. Bins are held for SIX MONTHS before they are returned - and residents have to apply to get them back.

Young dad Tony Swiffen, 32, from Lydgate Drive in New Mill, returned home from taking his son to school to find his bin had vanished.

Sticking out of his letterbox was a letter from Kirklees Council. It read: "Our records show that your green bin has now contained the wrong items on 2 separate occasions.

"For this reason it has been removed from your property.

"You have received either a letter or a visit from an advisor informing you of the consequences of contaminating your bin.

"It is essential for us to only collect recyclable materials. If incorrect items are collected they mix with good recycling and spoil all of the recycling.

"You will be able to apply to have your green bin returned after 6 months."

Mr Swiffen commented: "It's really annoying.

"They have snooped through the bags in my bin. But there's nothing I put in there apart from cans and paper. I take all my cardboard to the tip."

Mr Swiffen says he believes he was targeted because previously he has bagged up his green rubbish in black bin liners.

But after being warned previously - he received a yellow sticker on his bin - he hand-sorted his rubbish to double check he was not breaking the rules.

He added: "Someone has come up the driveway and just taken my green bin from the house.

"It wasn't even green bin day. It was black bin day.

"For the next six months I'm going to have to put my green stuff in my black bin. How are they winning by doing that? It's ridiculous." Mr Swiffen said some of his neighbours had been affected and that one of the council advisors had been caught on CCTV peering into green bins prior to refuse workers making their rounds.

The video, which was posted on social media, was seen by the Local Democracy Reporting Service.

Frustration is growing across the borough, with many residents complaining that the council's approach is over zealous.

Clr Bernard McGuin (Con, Almondbury) said councillors were briefing on the new initiative in April but the council seemed to have abandoned its "softly-softly" attitude.

"Because our recycling rates are so bad the council wanted to educate people.

"They were trying to stop people putting nappies and food waste in their green bins because that contaminates the whole load.

"But they seem to have gone overboard.

"People are being condemned for putting the wrong type of rubbish in the green bin.

"I am getting so many complaints about the way it's being operated.

"The impression we were given was that it was a softly-softly approach but it's not that way at all. We should be increasing our recycling rates but punishing people like this is not the way to do it. "This authority seems to do things to upset as many people as possible."

CAPTION(S):

A warning letter sent to residents in Kirklees, inset

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Publication:Huddersfield Daily Examiner (Huddersfield, England)
Date:May 13, 2019
Words:546
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