Page last updated at 07:45 GMT, Monday, 16 June 2008 08:45 UK

Microchip bins project rubbished

Councillor explains problems with the scheme

A council which introduced microchipped wheelie bins ahead of a possible "pay as you throw" scheme has abandoned the project saying it was unworkable.

South Norfolk Council was one of the first in the UK to fit the bins with microchips as part of a government-funded project.

The idea was to encourage more recycling and curb landfill rubbish.

Now the council believes the technology used to weigh the bins was unreliable and has abandoned the 250,000 scheme.

Councillor David Bills said: "The data that was coming out was not foolproof and you must appreciate that if one is charging or reimbursing people based on data, that data has got to be correct 100% each day of the year.

"If it's not, people are going to start querying it and it's going to lead to all sorts of problems."

The chips were supposed to show how much people were throwing away and recycling.

The bins were then weighed by the lorry's lifting equipment and the information sent to computers in the council offices enabling the council to tell exactly how much waste was being collected and where it was coming from.

A spokesperson for the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) said: "We did not give South Norfolk Council funding to run a financial incentive pilot scheme, or dictate that they use any particular method of technology to support their refuse collection and recycling scheme.

"Ultimately it is for local authorities to make decisions about the best waste and recycling schemes for their area, based on local needs."

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