Thousands of Australians face a $5000 fine if they're repeatedly caught with smelly bins under a new law.
The decision comes after a lime green food organics and garden organics bin (FOGO), which has to have "no level of contamination", was introduced in the Perth council of Victoria Park.
Mayor Karen Vernon confirmed to radio show 6PR Breakfast that smelly bins could result in the huge fine.
"That certainly is the case under the new waste local law in the town of Victoria Park," she said, saying it was one of the provisions in the waste local law.
"The reason we’ve done this is because we've made a fundamental change on how we collect waste by introducing a third bin for the first time."
"So what’s really important is that the contents of that third bin is just organic material.
"And then process them into a useful product like compost."
For Victoria Park residents, the FOGO lime bin will simply be added to the existing red general waste bin and yellow recycling bin.
Social media users react to new smelly bin rule
The environmentally friendly rule has kicked up a stink due to the hefty penalty that applies for misuse.
"You must be joking," one person said on Facebook.
"Wow. Councils will go to any lengths to make more money," another said.
"It’s a bin. It’s going to smell. The Shire should be cleaning all the bins once a month for the rip-off rates they charge," a third person said.
Cr Vernon justified the whopping fine as a way for council to "to change the behaviour" of residents.
"In order for us to get that behaviour to change properly, we’ve introduced the waste local law because if it doesn’t happen naturally, we will need some power as a local council," she said on 6PR.
"So it might mean that if someone is putting all the wrong things in the third bin, at some point in time those people will find there are consequences for not doing the right thing."
Council dispels 'bin sniffer' rumours
The Town of Victoria Park posted on Facebook to clarify the penalties for putting the wrong items in the green bin.
"If there was a case of ongoing breaches of bin contamination, or where bin use was causing issues or distress to residents, we would investigate," they said.
"If there was cause to go to court, the maximum penalty is $5,000. However, we have never taken this action on a residential property."
People also questioned how the move will be policed, suggesting there would be "a council worker going round smelling the bins".
However Cr Vernon dismissed the rumour as an exaggeration.
"No, we won’t be employing bin smellers," she said on 6PR.
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