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Microchipped bins make a comeback in Dorset
MICROCHIPPED bins which caused widespread concern across Bournemouth six years ago have been introduced in Dorset – almost without comment.
Thousands of new recycling, rubbish and food waste bins have been delivered to homes in Christchurch and parts of East Dorset.
The wheelie bins contain microchips which identify which house they belong to.
They will eventually be rolled out across Dorset for the new Recycle for Dorset scheme which is being introduced in phases between now and 2015.
They are the same microchip devices which caused outrage when they were installed in 70,000 wheelie bins delivered across Bournemouth back in 2006, when they sparked fears of “pay as you throw” taxes.
At the time the chips were installed without the residents or councillors being made aware. No such taxes were ever implemented.
Dorset Waste Partnership says the RFID tags will enable them to identify missing or stolen bins.
In the future they may introduce technology on refuse lorries enabling collection crews to check if a bin has been emptied, with the aim of saving money on re-collections.
But a waste partnership spokesman insisted: “The tags cannot and will not be used to ‘spy’ on what people are putting in their bins.”
He said: “This is simply an electronic barcode that, when scanned on delivery, generates a unique number that links the bin to an address.”
The council stressed it had been “up front and open about the bins being tagged” including on its website and in the user guides received by households.
While the issue caused outrage in Bournemouth and was branded a “big brother” move, the residents of Christchurch have not reacted in the same way according to local councillors and residents’ associations.
John Mather, chairman of Highcliffe Residents Association, said he was not aware of any concerns from residents in his area.
First roll out is 100,000
THE costs of adding RFID tags to the bins during manufacturing is 65p. The cost of scanning them on delivery, which generate the unique reference number that links the bin to the property, is 58p, so the cost is £1.23 per bin.
The initial order of bins for the first roll-out across Christchurch and half of East Dorset is 44,000 rubbish bins, 44,000 recycling bins and 12,000 garden waste bins, which are optional. In total, there are likely to be just over 300,000 bins countywide.
The county estimates saving £18,450 per year from reducing the costs incurred through missed collections and lost or stolen bins.