Families face being rationed to 80 bags of rubbish a year. Households throwing away more waste will have to take it to the tip or buy a limited number of extra bags.
The scheme is already in use with one council, is being introduced by another and is under consideration by up to 180 more. The quotas are the latest attempt by local authorities to cut down on waste to meet EU targets.
Doretta Cocks, of the Campaign for Weekly Waste Collections, said: ‘This is rationing. Some councils with fortnightly collections and wheelie bins are already doing it by reducing the size of their wheelie bins.
“They must think we are idiots. How can they claim to be concerned for the environment when they tell people to drive to the local tip? And what do you do if you don’t have a car? Walk?”
The quotas fly in the face of vows from ministers to end such heavy-handedness.
The bag quota regime is to be imposed by the Tory-led council in Wokingham, Berkshire, and is already in operation in Broxbourne in Hertfordshire.
Many of the 180 councils that still offer unrestricted weekly rubbish collections are watching the trial.
Wokingham officials have told residents that 75-litre sacks will be given to each household and anything not left in them will not be collected.
“Every household will receive 80 bags every year,” it said. “You can buy extra bags in rolls of ten but this will be deterred as a general practice.”
Families of five will get 100 rubbish bags a year and households of six or more will get 120. A council spokesman said yesterday that those who cannot keep to their quota will have to drive to municipal tips to get rid of their rubbish.
Residents will have a weekly recycling collection limited to cans, paper and card, plastic bottles and aerosols.
Plastic packaging, tinfoil packaging and glass including bottles must either go with the general waste or be taken to recycling points. Green waste pick-ups cost an extra ￡60 a year.
The council, which charges a Band D council tax of ￡1,462 a year, has told residents it will save ￡922,000 a year under the new system. There will be no local consultation before it is introduced next April.
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