Cardiff council yesterday (11 July) announced their intention to issue £100 on-the-spot fines for people failing to put food waste in the correct bin. Should the fine not be paid within two weeks, the council will then be able to take legal action, which could see the defendant’s fine rise to £1,000.
Although the power to issue fines has always been available, this decision marks the council’s first active campaign to ensure food waste is separated correctly by using the threat of a large fine.
Councillor Ashley Govier – “We have to change people’s behaviour and sometimes that means you have to enforce fines. We have been doing the education and now it’s time for the fines – it’s got to be the stick”
Cardiff council have introduced a number of education projects to inform the public of the need to carefully segregate what they put in each container, and though these campaigns will continue, councillors believe that more robust action is required.
Cardiff council cabinet member for the environment, Councillor Ashley Govier, said: “We have to change people’s behaviour and sometimes that means you have to enforce fines. We have been doing the education and now it’s time for the fines – it’s got to be the stick.
Cllr Govier also noted that because of the introduction of separate weekly food caddie and green bag collections, there is now no excuse not to recycle properly. He added: “There is no longer a reason for the black bags to be split open [by seagulls and vermin], unless there is food in them.”
The council is also considering proposals to introduce see-through bin bags in a further attempt to increase recycling rates.