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ECO-REFUSENIKS COULD LAND IN COURT

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Walsall MBC is threatening to prosecute residents who persistently refuse to recycle household waste, in a bid to i...
Walsall MBC is threatening to prosecute residents who persistently refuse to recycle household waste, in a bid to improve its recycling rates.

On Wednesday the cabinet approved the proposals for tough measures. Recycling officers have been knocking doors and checking who is putting out their green box in a bid to boost numbers of households recycling and find out why some people do not use their recycling box.

But take-up of the kerbside recycling scheme remains 'low', the council said, despite Walsall hitting the government target of recycling 24% of waste earlier this year.

As a last resort, Walsall could prosecute residents who refuse to recycle - which could leave those individuals facing fines of up to£1,000 should they avoid recycling despite letters, visits and legal notices from council officers. The new policy is due to take effect from November 2006.

Rachel Walker, cabinet member for the environment, said: 'We must make people realise that Walsall Council takes recycling seriously across the borough.

'If we don't increase the amount of waste recycled in Walsall, residents could face increasing council tax bills, as we are fined for the amount of waste sent to landfill.

'We don't want to prosecute people - this would be the last resort and that would be the last action after an extensive campaign of awareness.

'Lots of householders are recycling magnificently and we thank them for this, but some people are still binning things that could be recycled. We want all 95,000 households receiving a green box to use it.'

Walsall residents could see£7 million added to their Council Tax bill, spread over the next four years - a possible increase of£65 per household - unless every household recycles, the council claimed.

Councils across the country face similar problems as a levy of£150 is raised on every tonne of rubbish over a certain level that local authorities take to landfill.

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