Croydon council are preparing to fine residents £80 if they fail to recycle.
The compulsory recycling scheme is expected to save the council approximately £200,000 a year.
The scheme is set to target the minority of households who repeatedly fail to put their recyclable waste out for collection.
Cabinet member for highways and environmental services, Cllr Phil Thomas said: “If they then don’t want to cooperate we will fine them and, where necessary, take legal action as a last resort.”
The council proposes that the scheme will save money and the environment. Thomas said: “It’s a no brainer.”
Shasha Khan, Parliamentary Candidate for the Green Party in Croydon North told EastLondonLines: “I’m certainly in favour of anything that will increase recycling but I feel Croydon’s scheme should be more reward-based rather than penalizing those who don’t recycle.”
He continued: “It can’t be one size fits all. People want to recycle but everyone has their own circumstances to deal with. You might come home tired from a long day at work and forget which materials go in which bin.”
The decision was based on a borough-wide consultation where 90% of participants agreed that recycling is the best solution to help reduce costs and freeing up money for other services.
The council pays £106 per tonne to send the waste to landfill sites whereas processing the recyclable materials costs £30.
A council team has been assigned to give advice to residents living in roads that have been identified as priorities.
Cabinet members are expected to approve the compulsory recycling scheme at their meeting on 16 October for launch on 1 January 2013.
EastLondonLines asked residents in Croydon what they thought about the initiative.
Tanya Leonard, 21, Heythrop College University of London, Croydon:
“I think that this is a fantastic idea, because recycling is very important for the environment. But also in dire times like these we need to save money, not waste it so that money can be used more wisely for other more resourceful things. Everyone should recycle as part of their duty towards society. At the same time we come a little closer to saving the planet.”
Charlie Johnson, 64, retired construction worker, Croydon:
“I don’t think that compulsary recucling is a good idea. I think the council will waste more money paying for inspectors who make sure people are recycling.”
Pete J Houghney, 65, retired cemetary manager, Croydon:
“I think the £80 fine is necessary to make sure people recycle. We’re running out of resources which is a very serious matter.”
Anyone requiring a blue box (for paper and card), a green box (for glass, cans and plastic) or a food waste container, can find online forms and contact email addresses at www.croydon.gov.uk/environment or can call the council on 020 8726 6200 and ask to speak to someone about household collections.