Highland Council wants to fine people that do not recycle their household waste and are calling on the Scottish Government to give them the power to do so. They want to fine people that mix rubbish with recyclable waste or put it in the wrong bins.
The local authority has not outlined how the new policy would be implemented but it has been agreed to by the members of the council’s transport, environment and community service committee.
Those opposed say that families will be hit hard by the fines and the council should be looking for more carrot and less stick. Taxpayers are already paying more taxes over the past decade and should not have to pay more fines just so the council can reach their targets.
George Farlos, the Highland Council SNP spokesman for waste, is concerned about how it will be policed. How are we going to collect from people that lead chaotic lifestyles if we cannot even bring fly-tippers to justice?
Why are you going to pay if someone from off the street throws something into you garbage that is not correct? League tables show Highland is in the bottom third for recycling so even the council itself is way off.
Maxine Smith, councilor, defended the initiative saying that the planet is facing real issues and they need to be taken seriously and that people need to learn about the consequences of not recycling.
Anne Thomas of Friends of the Earth said the money they pay for the landfill tax can be balanced with what they collect in fines. Those responsible for waste going to the landfills should pay.
The bottom line is that the amount of waste that ends up in the landfill needs to be reduced or else there will be consequences for everyone on the not too distant future.