Householders face on-the-spot £100 fines for not putting their rubbish in the correct bins as part of a raft of new “zero tolerance” measures aimed at cleaning up Cardiff’s streets.
People wrongly dumping their leftover food scraps in black bags will be targeted in the crackdown by Cardiff council waste enforcement officers, it was announced yesterday.
If the fine is not paid within 14 days the council can take legal action through the courts which can result in fines of up to £1,000.
The capital’s environment boss said residents were sick of trash being left strewn on the roads after black bags had been ripped open by seagulls and vermin.
Councillor Ashley Govier said with the introduction of separate weekly food caddie and green bag collections there was no excuse not to recycle properly.
The council has always had the power, under Section 46 of the Environmental Protection Act, but until now has chosen not to use them for fear of being labelled “bin divers”, he said at yesterday’s cabinet meeting.
Other clean-up measures include:
– the launch of a team of four “litter enforcers” targeting litterbugs in the city centre – possibly fitted with body cameras;
– installation of 100 chewing gum recycling bins in a six-month pilot in partnership with gum manufacturer Wrigley’s and Keep Wales Tidy;
– charging supermarkets £75 for each shopping trolley recovered by the council;
– consultation on proposals to introduce dog control orders banning dogs from children’s play areas and sports pitches;
– asking for more powers from the Welsh Government to make it easier to issue other waste-related fines.
The move comes after WalesOnline revealed in April the council is considering introducing see-through bin bags to boost recycling rates.
The council, Coun Govier said, would continue its education campaigns, but the time had come to crack down on persistent offenders.
He said officers would only open and search through rubbish bags for “compositional analysis” research. The fines, he said, would be targeted at householders whose black bags have been split open.
“There is no longer a reason for the black bags to be split open, unless there is food in them.
“We have to change people’s behaviour and sometimes that means you have to enforce fines,” Coun Govier said.
“We have been doing the education and now it’s time for the fines. It can no longer just be a talking to – it’s got to be the stick.”
Rhiwbina’s Independent councillor Jayne Cowan said the Labour-run council must be careful not to be seen to be too heavy-handed.
She said the food caddies, introduced two years ago when black bag collections became fortnightly, could hold only four bags.
“I understand they need to reach these recycling targets, but fines need to be a last resort,” Coun Cowan said.