Cash rewards of £60 are being offered to get people in Stafford recycling and stop putting their rubbish in the wrong bins.
Stafford Borough Council is launching a new scheme called ‘coming to a bin near you’, with households offered the money if they have nothing that could have been recycled in their green rubbish bins.
The first area chosen to be part of the scheme is Great Haywood, on Tuesday, September 9.
Council staff will knock at an address, picked at random, and if the resident can prove their rubbish bin is recycling free they will be given £60. But if the house is not recycling all it can, staff will choose other addresses in the street in a bid to give away the cash.
The authority has been trying to hit a 60 per cent recycling target that council bosses say will help the environment and keep council tax bills down. It currently recycles around 53 per cent of household waste.
Environment chief Councillor Frank Finlay said “We have had tremendous support in the past for our recycling initiatives and I hope this will prove a popular addition to help spur the community on.
“Where other councils may have looked to fine residents for not recycling properly - we want to reward those who are doing all they can.”
Each month an address will be picked at random and will be kept secret - although the council will publicise in advance the area they will be visiting on its website and Twitter account or people can find out by contacting the Civic Centre.
Recently the council mocked up a bathroom suite in the middle of Stafford and Stone to make the public aware of products that can be recycled.
Previous initiatives which allow more to be recycled include taking waxed drink cartons and aerosols and allowing residents to put batteries and small electrical items in a carrier bag by the side of the blue bin.
Councillor Finlay praised residents for their efforts to increase recycling over the previous few years but said: “We are asking people to do more. A lot of the stuff residents throw in the green refuse waste bin can actually be recycled - this is a message we are keen to get across which will help towards hitting the 60 per cent recycling target we have set ourselves.
He added: “We all know that recycling is good for the environment but what many do not know is that it is also good financially. The council is given money for the amount we recycle and this cash is pumped back in to the service. And the more money coming back to the service, means less money needed to run it - so ultimately recycling is helping to keep council tax down.”
Other councils like Wolverhampton and Walsall have inspected recycling wheelie bins and if they find the wrong rubbish they leave them unemptied.