A Bo’ness cancer patient has been targeted by Falkirk Council as it appeared to them he wasn’t doing any food recycling.
One of his relatives was so incensed by this snooping that he lodged a formal complaint against the council.
The council visited the seriously ill man’s home to find out why he had not been using his food waste caddy.
And the question uppermost in the relative’s mind was ‘How did they know?’
He asked if there was some kind of electronic tag on the food bin which allowed council officers to trace whether it had been used or not which the council denied.
It appears it was during routine monitoring of the new service that the failure to produce any food waste at that address was noted.
A spokesman for Falkirk Council explained: “To identify areas for improvement we have to carry out a basic survey of who is using the grey food caddies presented kerbside.
‘‘This is a simple exercise of counting the number of food bins left out on the collection day and then applying that number to the number of houses on the street.
‘‘When a street is discovered where not so many residents appear to be recycling food or other recycling waste then the council’s recycling adviser visits to discuss how the council can help.”
The council did put out advice to local residents who would be affected by the new regime earlier this year.
Councillor Sandy Turner (SNP) said: “I do not in any way condone the alleged actions of council officers.
‘‘If you put the wrong type of rubbish in your bin then you are likely to get a sticker put on the bin or container telling you and the bin will not be collected.
‘‘Any additional bags of rubbish left beside a wheelie bin will not usually be taken away.
‘‘You would then have to either put your rubbish in the correct bin and leave it out for collection next time or take your rubbish to one of the council’s recycling centres which are found across the council area but if you do this on three occasions then a council officer will call to speak to you about it.’’
The council offers advice about what to do with yourrubbish on their website. Your bin should be put out by 8.30am on collection day with the bin handles facing towards the roadside.
If you don’t know when your bin is due to be collected you can find out on the council website.
Iain Gulland, director of Zero Waste Scotland, said: “Food waste that cannot be used or avoided is easily recycled or composted.
‘‘Over half of households now have access to food recycling services and councils,
‘‘Recycling food waste can also generate renewable energy and be turned into a fertiliser to benefit farmers.”