Fines for not separating rubbish

Recycling is set to become a legal obligation if the Secretary of State for the Environment gets his way. José Eduardo Martins wants to make citizens more responsible by fining them for the improper separation of their litter.

“Recycling litter begins at home,” he said, stressing that, “it is not only operators and local authorities who have to take responsibility – it is citizens.” The move comes after local authorities have invested millions in installing recycling points around the region’s towns and cities; now they need to persuade people to use recycling points in their own streets.

The Secretary of State considers that a reasonable fine for not fulfilling this task properly would be between 25 and 100 euros. The local authorities and GNR officers would issue the fines.

But environmental group Quercus considers the idea of fines for such “offences” would be impractical. “This merely highlights the incompetence of the Secretary of State,” a spokesman for the group commented.