RESIDENTS in Hull are being asked to spy on their neighbours and shop them if they leave their wheelie bins out for too long.
Council officials are even asking residents to fill in "environmental crime incident diaries", similar to those used to log violent anti-social behaviour.
The diary sheets ask householders to supply the names and addresses of anyone believed to be responsible for not removing their emptied wheelie bins from the street.
It also asks people if they have any available images of neglected bins and invites them to describe how they have been affected by the problem.
Anyone caught repeatedly leaving their bin out for too long risks a 100 fixed-penalty notice and if they fail to pay up, they risk a court appearance and a maximum 1,000 fine on prosecution.
Letters sent to homes in Mayfield Street, West Hull, last week by the council say the move has been prompted by "complaints concerning persons failing to remove household wheelie bins".
It is thought this could be among the first cases of a whole street being targeted with such letters.
The letter says: "If left on the highway, wheelie bins can cause an obstruction to those with disabilities and damage vehicles parked nearby.
"Everyone plays a crucial role in tackling environmental crime. If you see anyone committing this or anything else you believe may be environmental crime, please complete and return the enclosed diary sheet or contact us immediately."
However, the move has prompted a mixed response from residents in the street, most of whom are appalled by the council's hard line approach.
Ted Sewell, 73, said: "It is a load of rubbish. I will not be taking part. There are a number of problems with this idea. Most of the bins do not have numbers on them so how do we know whose they are?
"Some of those have been left out for weeks and I would rather the council came and got rid of them because no one else will empty them.
"Another problem is that quite a lot of people cannot get their bins into their yards or gardens because there are locked gates on the alleys.
"A lot of people come and go around here and the keys to the gates never get passed on. The only other option is to take the bin through the house, and who wants to do that?"
However, another resident, who asked not to be named, said: "I think this is a good idea and people should take their bins off the street. It makes the whole place look a right mess.
"In a lot of cases it is plain laziness. There is also the problem of vermin and people kicking them over, which makes the rubbish problem even worse."
Claire Smith, 35, said: "I was taken aback when I received the letter from the council asking me to spy on my neighbours. I would never do this and do not like the idea of my neighbours spying on me."
Mark Cornall, the council's environmental crime unit manager, said: "We treat all concerns raised seriously. The first stage of all our investigations is to establish the exact nature of the problem and obtain evidence that may support any potential action.
"This involves contacting residents in writing to determine the scale of any problem and this approach is used to tackle numerous environmental issues.
"We encourage residents to take action by raising concerns through our call centre or via the council's website to help us find those responsible so we can reduce the adverse impact on the city's environment."