RESIDENTS are being assured that microchips in new bins being delivered to homes in west Dorset are not part of a ploy to spy on them.

Containers are being dropped off at homes in Weymouth and Portland and parts of west Dorset ready for the new Recycle for Dorset collection scheme being rolled out by the Dorset Waste Partnership (DWP).

It goes live the week beginning Monday, October 13 and will see residents using different coloured bins for rubbish and recycling.

The wheelie bins being delivered contain microchips in the lid of the container which can identify which properties they belong to.

DWP says they are radio frequency identification tags known as RFID and similar to what may be found in library books.

Although not in use currently, the tags can help identify missing or stolen bins and enable crews to check whether bins have been emptied, once equipment is fitted to vehicles.

But Portland resident Ian Broadhurst is not convinced and believes there is something ‘sinister’ about microchips in rubbish bins.

Carer Mr Broadhurst, 40, has removed his chip and intends to post it back to the DWP with a letter of complaint.

He said: “It annoyed me that they didn’t think to tell us these bins were going to be delivered with microchips in them.

“I’ve heard about this happening in other parts of the country and my fear is that they will eventually be used to charge people for recycling.

“I phoned up the waste partnership originally because I was concerned my garden was being turned into a recycling centre with all the new bins and the man let it slip on the phone the bins were tagged.”

A DWP spokesman maintained the partnership had not hidden the fact that electronic ID tags were on bins and mention was made of them in an information leaflet given to residents.

He said the technology was not yet available to enable the tags to be scanned on refuse vehicles, but it was cheaper to install the tags on the bins at the point of manufacture than install them after they had been delivered.

The spokesman added: “There’s nothing sinister about them at all. It’s like a barcode – they have a reference number which links the bin to the property.

“There are no plans for a pay as you throw scheme or anything like that. It’s not to spy on people.

“It’s pretty standard now. Most local authorities are doing it.”