Rochdale Borough Council says 'no' to chips in bins.

October 25, 2006 12:00 AM
No chip on this shoulder - Councillor Wera Hobhouse

No chip on this shoulder - Councillor Wera Hobhouse

Rochdale Borough Council's Environment Boss - Lib Dem Councillor Wera Hobhouse has ruled out microchips in wheelie bins in the Rochdale Borough. Following a question from Castleton Councillor Ted Flynn Wera said, "I can reassure the people of this Borough that we haven't introduced chips to our wheelie bins and there are no plans to do so in the future unless Government legislation changes which would force the Authority to do so."

Wera continued, "I have heard horror stories about residents down south ripping them out. I feel that this innovation will not benefit Rochdale and effectively cost the most vulnerable residents with larger families. The introduction of Alternate Weekly Collections across the Borough should also help to substantially reduce waste going to landfill. This is not Big Brother and the controversy in other Councils is not worth the hassle. I can reassure the people of this Borough that we haven't any plans. Where we have introduced alternate weekly collections recycling figures have rocketed and landfill amounts have dropped substantially, this is a sensible approach and not a chip in site!"

The issue has caused controversy throughout the country, more than 30 councils have already fitted microchips to wheelie bins in advance of a possible "pay as you throw" scheme for landfill waste. Some authorities have even fitted the technology without informing residents or councillors. In Bournemouth, for example it is estimated that over 25,000 have ripped the chips out of their bins in protest.

A leading Government Environmental Advisor - Stephen Bates who guides town hall bosses on environmental policies has 'weighed' into the argument. He has accused Council Bosses of being 'arrogant' if they adopt 'microchips' in bins, without consultation. Mr Bates, managing director of environmental PR agency EnviroComms, said, "Recycling has become a process so bogged down in procedure and a culture of "box-ticking" that the core reason - environmental protection - has been all but lost. A lot of councils appear to have been taken by surprise by the reaction to the chipped bin issue. The problem is it's often difficult for waste managers."

QUESTION TO COUNCILLOR WERA HOBHOUSE FROM COUNCILLOR TED FLYNN;

Question from Cllr T. Flynn: Can the Cabinet Member for Environment and Sustainability please reassure the public of this Borough that we will not have chips in our wheelie bins now or in the future?

I can reassure the people of this Borough that we haven't introduced chips to our wheelie bins and there are no plans to do so in the future unless Government legislation changes which would force the Authority to do so.

Rochdale Council is confident that we can achieve our targets to reduce waste going to landfill through positive measures of encouraging people to recycle more without having to charge people individually for their waste. The introduction of Alternate Weekly Collection across the Borough should also help to substantially reduce waste going to landfill.