Residents have been told they will be fined and even prosecuted by Northampton Borough Council if they persist in putting more than two bags of rubbish out each week.
The Guildhall yesterday (Wednesday) announced it was getting tough with residents who are still failing to recycle by allowing them to put out just two bags each week. People who persist in leaving out more than their allotted amount of waste could be fined and even taken to court.
The limit of two bags is aimed at increasing recycling rates in areas where households do not have wheelie bins – where recycling rates are low – including areas of Semilong and The Mounts.
The changes come into force from September 16 – when new green sacks will be provided – and will affect around 22,000 households in Northampton.
Bosses at The Guildhall have said: “Every household will be limited to a maximum of two green sacks per household each week and no other type of sack will be collected by the crews.”
Councillor Mike Hallam, cabinet member for environment, added: “Unfortunately we are still seeing things going to landfill that could be recycled. There is not only an environmental cost to this, as we all pay the cost of landfill tax through our council tax.”
He added: “We will be giving everyone a chance to adjust to the new system. After this period we will start to take enforcement action against households who want to put out more than two bags of non-recyclable waste as we feel with so many recycling options there is no need to send so much waste to landfill.”
However, some residents have reacted with anger. Angela Johnson, aged 37, from Briar Hill, said nobody in her road had been given a wheelie bin, prompting her to write to the Prime Minister in protest.
“For three years I have been fighting the council about the black bags. Most people in my estate will still put the same black bags out,” she said.
The situation comes as the Sixfields recycling centre faces imminent closure, as part of the redevelopment of Sixfields.
A spokesman for Northamptonshire County Council, which operates the site, said: “Encouraging people to recycle more and reducing the amount of waste going to landfill is a priority for us. That’s why it is our intention to provide a replacement household waste recycling centre for Sixfields.
“We are working with our partners at Northampton Borough Council to find a new location and are exploring a number of options.”