Microchips in dustbins spy on three million
By Brendan Carlin, Political Correspondent
Last Updated: 2:20am BST 24/05/2007
More than three million households in Britain have rubbish bins equipped with "waste stealth tax" technology, it was claimed last night.
Rubbish bins: Microchips in bins spy on 3m homes
The microchips could be used to charge households for the amount of non-recyclable waste produced
Ahead of today's publication of the Government's national waste strategy, a survey revealed that 68 town halls have spent millions of pounds buying bins with microchips.
The figure is double previous estimates and will fuel fears that Labour has been moving secretly towards a European-style "bin tax".
The microchips, together with reading equipment which could be installed in refuse lorries, would allow councils to weigh each household's rubbish. The system could eventually be used to charge households for the amount of non-recyclable waste they produce, which currently has to be buried in landfill sites.
Britain is the only major European country not to have separate charges for refuse collection. But there are fears that any new system could cost an average of £20 a month for each home.
An opinion poll for the Channel 4 Despatches programme to be shown tonight, reveals that almost two in three people - 62 per cent - oppose the idea of a "pay as you throw" rubbish tax. . . .