Lifting the Lid: Number of councils installing chips in bins rises by 62 per cent

Research conducted by Big Brother Watch reveals that there are now 68 local authorities secreting microchips in the bins of residents, up from 42 a year earlier

Top lines from the research (the full report with a complete breakdown of local authorities with bin microchips is available here) include:

  • 68 local authorities in Britain and Northern Ireland have installed microchips in the rubbish bins of at least 2.6 million households.
  • A previous FOI survey from March 2009 found that 42 local authorities had installed microchips in their residents’ bins, which equates to a 62 per cent rise in just 12 months.
  • Bristol in the only local council in Britain to agree to pilot one of the Government’s "pay-as-you-throw" schemes in the twelve months that they have been on offer, but several local councils are quietly installing the infrastructure with which to monitor our waste habits, ready for a political and public climate that is more amenable to bin microchips.

Research conducted by Big Brother Watch has revealed that 68 local councils in Britain have placed microchips in the bins of at least 2.6 million households. When a similar study was conducted 12 months ago, only 42 councils admitted to having placed microchips in their residents’ rubbish bins. Only one local authority has yet come forward to pilot one the Government’s “pay-as-you-throw” schemes in the year that they have been on offer, which strongly suggests that councils are preparing the technology at significant cost, ready for when the government announces a nationwide roll-out of charging for what the British public throw away.   

Lifting the Lid analyses the privacy implications and cost to householders of installing a network of bin microchips, before providing a definitive list of those local authorities that have installed the intrusive technology.

Alex Deane, Director of Big Brother Watch, said:

“The number of local councils placing microchips in bins is increasing, despite the fact that only one of them has volunteered to trial the Government’s ‘pay-as-you-throw’ scheme.

Councils are waiting until the public aren’t watching to begin surveillance on our waste habits, intruding into people’s private lives and introducing punitive taxes on what we throw away.

The British public doesn’t want this technology, these fines or this intrusion. If local authorities have no intention to monitor our waste then they should end the surreptitious installation of these bin microchips.”

To read the full report, which includes detailed information on every local authority, please click here.