Recycle or face a £100 fine
Keep dumping the wrong kind of waste in the wrong bin and you could be fined up to £100.
That was the message from Environment Minister Arlene Foster, announcing sweeping waste control powers for councils allowing them to issue fixed penalty notices for breaches of waste collection rules.
Councils issued notices about when and how waste should be left out, pursuing offenders through the courts with a maximum fine of £1,000.
But from Monday, councils will have powers to issue fixed penalty notices of £100 for 'low level' waste receptacle offences such as putting the wrong materials in the recycling bins.
The Minister said: "The new powers offer a quicker, more flexible, and more cost-effective alternative to expensive and time-consuming court prosecutions."
However, arc21, a waste management consortium representing 11 of Northern Ireland's most easterly councils said it won't mean that people will be fined for absentmindedly throwing a crisp packet in the brown bin.
"I don't think its going to mean a dramatic change," Ricky Burnett, of arc21, said.