Dundonians could come home to unemptied bins if they fail to separate rubbish under the council’s new recycling strategy.
Local authority environment bosses want a “zero tolerance” approach to excess rubbish being left beside bins on collection days and the wrong bins being used for the wrong waste.
Households with more than one general waste bin may also have excess containers taken away.
The proposals have been outlined in Dundee’s Waste and Recycling Action Strategy Plan for the next five years, which was discussed at a meeting of the council.
Ideas such as refusing to pick up excess waste are seen as necessary to place more responsibility on residents to sort rubbish after years of proactive council messaging asking them to do so.
Neighbourhood services convener Anne Rendall said “further work is required” on improving city recycling rates.
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And in a report set before councillors, senior officer Elaine Zwirlein said locals had to be “further encouraged to change their behaviour” to bring about significant improvements to city recycling rates.
Exactly how those who fail to separate their rubbish for recycling will be reprimanded is still unclear.
However, analysis of similar policies run by councils such as Glasgow, Aberdeen and Edinburgh shows that overfilled general waste bins will result in any excess waste being left at the kerb.
And those who put the wrong rubbish in the wrong bin, “contaminating” the collection, may come home to find the bin unemptied.
The measures may appear drastic but the council has strict Scottish Government targets to meet. Dundee City Council has a below-average recycling rate of 35.5% – and is expected to hit 60% by the end of next year.
The authority does send less waste to landfill than other councils because much of it is diverted to the Baldovie incinerator.
But from 2025 other councils will be required to do the same thing, casting Dundee in a less favourable light.
West End Liberal Democrat councillor Fraser Macpherson commended officers for taking a tougher stance.
He said: “There is absolutely no doubt we have a heck of a way to go. I’ve got a great deal of respect for the officers involved.
“We have to really try to actually ensure far more households are recycling.”