Secret bin bugs causing outrage

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Crewe & Nantwich Borough Council is one of a small number of local authorities using small concealed electronic devices in residents' bins to monitor waste disposal. One Audlem resident contacted Audlem Online when he found a device hidden in his green bin and another in the grey bin. He asks whether his right to privacy has been infringed as he wasn't alerted to the bugs being installed.

This week's Chronicle carries the story as its front page lead with Nantwich residents making similar discoveries and being disturbed by the concept of 'Big Brother watching you'. The Borough Council was named in a TV report on the issue over the weekend and in national newspaper stories.

The Council's Direct Services manager appears to dismiss the concerns as rubbish. David Marren said: "Some people may call these devices 'sneaky' but residents registered to the brown bin scheme have known about them for years. Now all residents have them in their recycling bins. They are not a secret but simply there to record which properties recycle."

The devices are black and round and are fitted into the lids of wheelie bins. It is not known if all bins have been fitted. A quick check in a couple of bins this morning failed to detect any devices but clearly they have been installed in some Audlem bins. Also, as Audlem has never had a brown bin scheme, no-one locally would have known about the use of these bugs.


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