Hammersmith and Fulham council launched a compulsory recycling scheme in Shepherds Bush on Monday in a bid to boost its household waste recycling rates from 25% to 30% by 2010.

Householders will be expected to put recyclable material such as glass jars, cans, and paper in the orange recycling sacks provided by the council, which are collected weekly.

Enforcement officers will patrol the streets to check the contents of rubbish bins, and any residents who persistently throw recyclable items in black sacks or wheelie bins could be issued with a £100 fixed penalty.

Council chiefs said Shepherds Bush – home to about 30,000 people – was being targeted because of its low recycling rate.

Councillor Nicholas Botterill, the council’s cabinet member for environment, said: “Our aim is to make the transition to a compulsory scheme as easy as possible for residents.

“Many residents already recycle their rubbish and the aim of this trial is to encourage others who don’t recycle to do their bit.

“Recycling targets are set by central Government, with local councils being fined if they do not meet their individual targets.

“As well as being cleaner and greener, increasing recycling rates helps us to keep the council tax down as we will have fewer fines to pay from central Government.”

Households that persistently fail to recycle will be sent two warning letters and visited by an enforcement officer.

If these three measures do not have any impact, the council will then issue the fine.

If the scheme proves successful, it could be rolled out across Hammersmith and Fulham.

Kate Martin

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