This is why I hate liberals and nanny staters
Fines and/or criminal charges should you fail to OBEY.
Bin police force residents to hand over personal medical details
By Steve Doughty
Last updated at 11:41 PM on 27th May 2008
Families will be forced to name somebody to be in charge of their rubbish under a council's 'zero tolerance' approach to bin collections.
The named individual faces £100 fines and a criminal record if their household then puts the wrong rubbish in its wheelie bins, puts them out too soon, or puts them in the wrong place.
They will also be told to give officials a breakdown of everyone who lives in their home, together with intimate information including details of medical conditions.
The strict questionnaire that residents will be forced to fill out about their rubbish
They will even be asked to number babies and toddlers who use disposable nappies.
Letters and forms - which threaten fines for those who fail to comply - have been developed to enforce strict recycling rules and make families and individuals obey instructions on how to put out their bins.
The demands, to be sent to homes in Tory-run Plymouth, call for the name of an adult, their age, and a signature.
Those signing are told they must 'ensure that your household conforms to our requirements'.
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The methods were condemned by critics as draconian and intrusive. But they were condoned by the Government and town hall chiefs - which indicates they are likely to be followed around the country.
Officials at the Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs said councils are legally obliged to make clear to households what is expected of them.
The Local Government Association, which speaks for councils, said it was vital to 'recycle as much as possible'.
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The councillor in charge of Plymouth's rubbish collections, Michael Leaves, has produced the scheme to 'send a clear message of zero tolerance to those individuals or businesses who continue to spoil our environment'.
Letters drawn up to be sent to those suspected of breaking rules warn that 'if you fail without reasonable excuse to comply with any requirement specified in this notice you will be liable on summary conviction to a fine'.
Officials said the forms are designed to go to a 'minority' of the population - a definition that means they could be sent to as many as 50,000 homes.
Messages written by officials say that ignoring rubbish rules is a growing problem and that it is difficult to identify which bin belongs to which family so that fines can be imposed and prosecutions brought.
The questionnaires are intended to go out with the letters threatening fines. Headed 'wheeled bin information form', they ask families to provide the number of adults and children in their home and to give reasons why they might have trouble putting the bins out as demanded by council rules.
Other questions ask for 'reasons why a member of your household generates more rubbish than average (eg a medical condition)'.
The form continues: 'Please nominate an adult from your household who will take legal responsibility for your bins.'
Matthew Elliott, of the Taxpayers' Alliance, said: 'Councils have taken away rubbish for more than 100 years without needing to know people's medical histories, so they shouldn't be asking these intrusive questions now.'
Christine Melsom, of the council tax protest group Is It Fair?, said: 'My advice to people who get these letters is to throw them in the bin. Just make sure it's the right bin.'
A council spokesman said: 'The letter, which has not yet been approved, is something we were preparing for those who do not heed initial warnings.
'We are looking at a questionnaire, which would include more detailed questions such as how many people are in a household and whether they have any medical needs that we need to take into account that will enable us to help them rather than prosecute them.'