A BINMAN has claimed Solihull residents will be “spied on” when a new system for collecting household refuse is introduced this autumn.
He said all dustcarts would contain miniature computers to measure the amount of waste thrown into the wheelie bins which will replace black bags.
The man works for Solihull Council’s refuse contractor, Enterprise, but said he did not want to be identified because the company had threatened to sack employees who spoke to the press.
He contacted this newspaper in response to an assurance given by the council that microchips would not be used to gauge the volume of rubbish.
It is estimated that nationally, councils have fitted microchip tags to bins outside about three million homes to help identify owners and weigh the waste.
The Government and local authorities have ruled out - for the time being - a ‘pay as you throw’ bin tax which would penalise householders who put out an above-average load of rubbish.
The binman said: “Fitting microchips to bins in Solihull was considered originally by Enterprise and although this is not happening now, computers on the wagons will do the same job - weighing the waste.
“In my book this amounts to spying. People who are reckoned to have put too much waste in their bin - say, more than two bags’ worth - will be warned at first but could face fines if they continue to do it.
“Also, if the lids of bins can’t be closed the bins won’t be emptied. Generally, I think refuse collection services are bound to suffer under the new system.”
A spokeswoman for Enterprise, which operates in Solihull out of the council depot in Moat Lane, confirmed that computers were being installed on dustcarts, but denied their purpose was to spy on people.
“The computers are used to plan routes for our vehicles and monitor their movement,” she said. “They definitely aren’t employed for weighing waste.”