Stratford district green bin 'rattle test' not meant as serious suggestion

Stratford District Council says plans to use a 'rattle test' by bin men to determine whether waste was being placed in the correct bins was not a serious suggestion.

The Leamington Courier series published an article earlier this month where Cllr Ian Shenton, district council’s portfolio holder for operations, warned that the council would be getting tough on those trying to sidestep the new £40 charge for green waste by putting their garden rubbish in one of their other bins.

He said: “Binmen have what they call a ‘rattle test’ to detect certain things when they shake the bin. They can tell by the sound that comes back whether that bin has large quantities of stuff in there that shouldn’t be.”

The district council has now issued a statement in regard to the 'rattle test' enforcement issue for the green bins.

During an Overview and Scrutiny Committee meeting at the district council, Cllr Shenton was quizzed on how the new green bin charges would be enforced after some members of the public suggested they would just place their green waste in their black bins to avoid the charge.

The district council said: "It must be made clear that Cllr Shenton's suggestion was made during a light-hearted discussion and was not meant seriously."

The council statement quoted Cllr Shenton who said: "I spoke about rattling the bins just to illustrate a point that there are simple solutions available to monitor the bins, it was not meant as an actual suggestion.

"I mentioned it during a light-hearted discussion and I'm sorry for this.

Green bin

Green bin

"Measures we are probably going to be looking at are using camera technology in the cabs of collection vehicles and things like that - not a 'rattle test'."

The new charge for collecting green waste will be introduced in June.

Members of the district council approved an annual £40 fee for the removal of garden waste through the use of green bins last month.

Residents can get a 12.5 per cent or £5 (first year) reduction, but only if the household subscribes before May 1, 2020. A direct debit scheme will not be offered due to the administration costs involved.