Householders in Swindon will soon be able to recycle their food waste - at least some of them will.

But those residents who repeatedly refuse to recycle their waste may find themselves being ‘persuaded’ to do so by the council.

Bosses at Euclid Street are to bring in a trial food waste collection scheme in selected areas of the town - and they hope that it will help the borough increase it’s recycling rate, currently just below 40 per cent.

The authority’s cabinet member for highways and the environment Maureen Penny said: “This is something that the people of Swindon want to do. We were looking at how to improve our recycling rates and held a large scale public consultation and more than 70 per cent of the people we spoke to asked to be able to do this. So we are bringing it in.”

The trail will start in Autumn - residents in the trial zones will be given two food caddies, one to keep in the kitchen, and a bigger one to put out for weekly collection. They will be asked to use compostable liners which they’ll have to supply themselves.

Head of Street Smart Ian James said: “We've picked areas to give us a good demographic spread, and we also want to tie it up to refuse collection rounds. So people will put their bin out and also their food waste. We’ll be trying to get good statistics on how much waste there is in the bins before the food waste collection trial, and how much there is afterwards

“When they brought this in in Somerset they found that the weight of the waste in the ordinary bins went down by more than the weight of the food waste - so that seemed to have changed people’s behaviour in some way.

Coun Penny added: “I think people aren’t often aware of how much food they waste. You don’t notice when it just goes in the bin , but if it’s there in your caddy, you might notice it and buy a bit less, or throw less away.”

Another change is that the council says recycling will become ‘compulsory’ for residents from August 1.

That means those people who repeatedly put recycling material in their ordinary waste bin will be targeted by the council.

Mr James said: “Recycling crews will make a note of those who don’t put materials out. There’s lots of reasons to miss a week, or just put it out once a month. But the bin crews can also tell if bottles or paper or cans and food waste,m which is heavy, is going in the bin. If someone is repeatedly refusing, we’ll put stickers on their bins, then we might send a waste warden round to speak to them and try and convince them to play their part.”

While the council’s intention is to convince, it has the option of issuing a fine or even reusing to collect a recalcitrant householder's waste at all.