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Council assigns microchip wheelie bin project to the scrapheap

South Norfolk Council has abandoned its microchipped wheelie bin project, ahead of a possible pay-as-you-throw scheme, claiming it was unworkable.

The council was one of the first in the UK to fit bins with microchips as part of a £1.1 million project funded by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra).

Two bins were weighed the recycling bin and the household waste bin with the idea to encourage recycling.

Conservative Party councillor David Bills told MRW: The project was abandoned last September because the data coming out was incorrect. Each bin had a chip in the lid and the bins were then loaded on to the refuse vehicle. It would be weighed by the vehicles lifting equipment, and the information would be sent to council officers telling them exactly how much waste had been collected and the weight of the recycling bins.

If you are going to start charging or reimbursing people then data has got to be 100% correct, but if the data is not correct the whole system will collapse like a pack of cards.
Bills added that the Government should crack down harder on retailers and manufacturers and not agitate residents and hit their pockets.

The scheme looked great on paper but was hopeless in practice. Residents want to recycle but they shouldnt be bamboozled out of their money, he said

A Defra spokeswoman said: In 2003/04, Defra funded the South Norfolk Council to extend its existing kerbside recycling scheme. It was up to the council to implement the best waste and recycling scheme for its area, based on local needs. The council took the decision to use part of this money to purchase microchipped wheeled bins.

We did not give South Norfolk Council funding to run a financial incentive pilot scheme or dictate that it uses any particular method of technology to support its refuse collection and recycling scheme. 

Pilot schemes to create incentives for recycling will be undertaken by five local authorities next year, when current legislation is updated to make this possible. At this stage we do not know who the five local authorities will be.

Councils wishing to participate will propose schemes and methods that they have devised, not us. We will evaluate the impact of those pilots before making a final decision on whether other local authorities can introduce similar schemes.


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