Hertsmere Borough Council has drawn-up plans to crackdown on residents who put out two rubbish bins for collection instead of one – as part of a drive to reduce carbon emissions.

Officers at the council say that enforcing the one-bin restriction could cut the amount of waste that’s sent to landfill from the borough – and increase recycling.

The council adds this is one of the key ways the it can impact carbon emissions and the planet’s limited resources.

On March 18, a meeting of the council’s executive backed plans to enforce the borough’s single bin policy.

If the move is backed at a full council meeting, enforcement will begin at a later date – that has yet to be determined.

It is estimated that around one in 10 homes across the borough currently present two black bins of residual waste for collection every fortnight – even though they should be limited to one.

Meanwhile recycling rates across Hertsmere are reported to be among the lowest in Hertfordshire.

According to data presented to the executive, just 44 per cent of waste in Hertsmere is recycled.

Meanwhile the borough sends about 20,000 tonnes of non-recycled waste – know as ‘residual’ waste – for disposal each year.

Council officers believe the crackdown on bins will have a direct impact on recycling rates and on greenhouse emissions.

The report says the enforcement action would bring Hertsmere in line with other council’s in Hertfordshire who operate and enforce a single bin collection policy.

It had initially been planned that enforcement could begin by September this year

But that has been relaxed, because of the pressures of the coronavirus outbreak.

At the meeting council leader Cllr Morris Bright said the proposal was “extraordinarily important for the longer term”.

But he said it would be “inappropriate” to agree to a target date, “because none of us know how actually the coming months are going to pan out”.

Meanwhile the executive also approved plans to improve recycling rates in flats.

Councillors approved a ‘community engagement action’ to improve recycling.

That would include leaflets for residents and managing agents, posters and planning guidance, as well as the creation of a specific recycling policy for flats.

But although it was scheduled to be implemented by June, the executive agreed it would be delayed due to the outbreak of the coronavirus.

Leader of the council Cllr Morris Bright said it was important to get the message out to flat owners and landlord s that ‘ their time had come’.

And he said the council had to be clear with management companies that they have to play their part.

At the meeting, Labour Cllr Jeremy Newmark pointed to bottle recycling cages and other facilities that were used in Europe and Israel – suggesting that Hertsmere should be a ‘pioneer authority’.

He said there was more that could be done with flats and suggested that this was a ‘missed opportunity’.