RESIDENTS in Wirral who put the wrong rubbish in their bins or drop cigarette butts on the streets will face fines from next month.
Wirral Council is preparing two campaigns as part of a bid to clean up the borough and build on its success in improving the borough’s recycling.
Since 2007, the authority has employed three officers dedicated to helping people use their green and grey bins correctly. According to the council’s own figures, they deal with 250 incidents a month, ranging from dealing with contaminated grey and brown (garden waste) bins, abandoned bins, those asking for an extra bin, and collection day queries, to residents not using the grey bins, and those who have medical waste.
A report to the council’s Environment Scrutiny Committee said these officers will provide most of the evidence to the enforcement team, who will use it potentially to issue £100 fixed penalty notices.
Cabinet member for the environment, Cllr Gill Gardiner, said the alternate weekly bin collections had been “extremely successful” and had seen Wirral’s recycling rate soar.
She added: “If you are reasonable with people and explain if there is a problem, we can sort it out – and so far that approach has worked incredibly well.
“There always has to be a last resort, but we hope that it will not be necessary – and so many months down the line it has not been necessary.”
The bin campaign will also coincide with a similar effort to educate those who drop “smoking-related litter” on the streets – again with the threat of offenders also risking being given fixed penalty notices. Cllr Gardiner said: “It’s the same message – if the council can do this through education and co-operation, then it’s a far better approach.”
A Wirral Council spokeswoman said Wirral has “an excellent recycling participation rate”.
“An enforcement policy has been put in place that will be applied to residents that persistently create a nuisance in their local area by leaving bin bags out at the side of bins, contaminating other residents’ bins, and persistently not using bins correctly.”
After the first offence, a warning sticker will be placed on bins as a reminder to residents who have failed to comply.
This would subsequently be followed up with a visit to the householder from a member of the recycling awareness team if the offence continued and a fixed penalty notice “would only be issued as a last resort”.
IF RESIDENTS are having trouble managing their waste, they can contact Streetscene on 0151 606 2004. DAILY POST