‘Lifting the Lid’ – the excellent new report from Big Brother Watch – has exposed the many councils throughout the UK who have installed microchips in the bins of residents.
Not only does this pave the way for ‘pay as you throw’ charges, it is also an unwarranted intrusion into the private lives of citizens. I contacted Cllr Carl Minns, leader of Hull City Council, and asked him for assurances he had no plans to introduce this technology in the city. He replied with this statement.
“As the Big Brother Watch Website shows, the Council does not have microchips in all of its bins. Although increasingly many bins do come with these chips pre-installed, it is our policy not to turn them on and we have no plans, and neither will we develop any, that will involve charging for such a basic service as bin collections. Furthermore I would not authorise council staff (or their agents) to spy on the waste habits of individual households as this would be a gross intrusion of privacy.”
Good news for those of us who live in the city; Big Brother is not about to spy on us through our bins, and the council is to be congratulated on this policy.
I have also contacted the East Riding of Yorkshire Council, and I will publish their response as soon as they get back to me.
UPDATE: I have received a reply from East Riding of Yorkshire Council. Cllr Symon Fraser made this comment:
“The East Riding of Yorkshire Council remains committed to its published waste strategy, this strategy does not consider microchipping or any other identification of individual householders bins and there are no plans to install or develop the use of this technology in the East Riding of Yorkshire Council's operations.
Our efforts are clearly focussed on continuing to successfully develop the range of recycling facilities available to our residents.”
Just like Hull City Council, the East Riding of Yorkshire Council is to be congratulated on this policy. Everyone living in East Yorkshire can dispose of their rubbish without Big Brother looking over their shoulders.