Will the introduction of microchips in wheelie bins mean using disposable nappies cost parents even more?

5305 drying nappies
Image by imcountingufoz via Flickr

More microchips than ever are being used to spy on people putting rubbish in their wheelie bins.

Thousands of bins across Lancashire are equipped with microchips that allow the council to monitor exactly what is being thrown away.

Many of these microchips have now been activated, while other councils have the chips in place for possible future use.

Councils in Lancaster and the Ribble Valley are now using microchips.

Lancaster Council has spent £100,000 in the past 12 months on microchips for 100,000 bins.

A spokesman for Lancaster Council said: “It was easier to get the chips than install them later on.

“We don’t monitor the chips as we don’t have the facilities to do that.”
Bosses at Ribble Valley Council have spent £17,500 on installing or operating microchips.

The council said a 25p chip containing the address of each bin would be fitted under the rim.

A spokesman said: “This will help reduce lost or stolen bins, as well as providing us with information about which households are recycling.

“Each time the bins are emptied, the chip is read by equipment on collection trucks.”

South Ribble and Wyre bins, plus some in West Lancashire, are chipped but they have not yet been activated.

A South Ribble Council spokesman said the micro chipped bins were introduced by the previous Labour administration in anticipation of the Government introducing a “pay as you throw” scheme.

But Conservative Councillor Peter Mullineaux, environment and green issues spokesman for South Ribble Council, said: “We promised in our pre-election manifesto in 2007 that we would not support the use of microchips in bins and now we are in control we are firmly standing by our promise.”

In West Lancashire, the council admitted some residents have removed the chips.  The findings were uncovered by privacy campaigners at Big Brother Watch.

Director Alex Deane said: “Councils are waiting until the public aren’t watching to begin surveillance on our waste habits and introducing punitive taxes on waste.

“If local authorities have no intention to monitor our waste, then they should end the surreptitious installation of chips.”

But Councillor Hudson said Preston Council could check recycling uptake by “visual methods” and said: “What we want is to educate the public to recycle. We never say never but, at this moment, our managers are managing the system well.”

According to The Mail on Sunday newspaper, a computer inside the truck weighs the bin as it is raised up, then subtracts the weight of the bin itself and records the weight of the contents on an electronic data card.

If you live within Lancashire or Blackpool and are the parent or guardian of a child under 18 months old or are expecting a baby you could be entitled to claim a nappy voucher that can be redeemed for cloth nappies and accessories or put towards a nappy laundry service. Converting from disposable nappies to cloth nappies will not only help save the environment it will also save you money.

From Monday 12th October 2009 the administration of the Bottom Line Incentive Scheme in Lancashire is being transferred to Global Renewables.  For more information on the various nappy schemes available please visit Prem2Pram

Prem2Pram accepts nappy vouchers from Lancashire County Councils Bottom Line Project and is in the process of registering with the Real Nappies for London scheme with the intention of also being able to accept the RNFL nappy vouchers.

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3 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Pete Wilson
    Mar 15, 2010 @ 04:14:16

    This is a spoof right? How can a microchip detect if a disposable nappy is thrown in the bin. Think about it!

    Reply

    • prem2pram
      Mar 15, 2010 @ 08:22:40

      You misunderstood the post, the microchip detects weight and therefore those who put their babies disposable nappies in their bin could be charge for the extra weight.

      Reply

  2. loulouand2
    Jul 22, 2010 @ 11:01:26

    I think its a good thing… I mean I used to feel really bad putting my disposables in the bin. Maybe this’ll encourage parents to use cotton ones. They help the environment, they’re exactly the same – if not better – and you save SO much money!

    Reply

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