“Environmentalists yesterday criticised a council for prosecuting a man who put the wrong kind of rubbish into a recycling bag. Friends of the Earth said the case of Michael Reeves, who has been ordered to pay £200 for putting a single sheet of paper in a bag reserved for glass and tin, could put others off recycling.”
This is absurd. Friends of The Earth Cymru even think it is absurd… their spokesman Julian Rosser said: “I feel a case like this can really damage recycling.”
One can understand local authorities who have warned persistent offenders several times finally losing patience and bringing a prosecution but to mount a case against a first time offender (who denies he put a piece of paper in the wrong bag) is clearly unfair and, frankly, “un-British”. No wonder we are concerned when The Lord Protector and his enforcer, John “Witchfinder” Reid want to give a whole raft of busybodies power to issue fixed penalty tickets. I do my best to recycle – largely by not actually buying any food and eating out. I find it relatively easy to put empty Rioja bottles in the Green box provided by my Council. This action by a Council in Swansea is hardly likely to encourage local residents to recycle.