HOUSEHOLDERS who refuse to recycle their rubbish will be fined.

Glasgow City Council will dish out fixed penalty fines to people who ignore the rules about recycling.

But they will adopt a "softly, softly" approach in an attempt to educate the offenders.

A year ago, the city council introduced two-weekly collections for people living in detached and semi-detached properties, four-in-a-block and terraced homes and bungalows.

The aim was to encourage re-cycling and cut the multi-million pound bill it pays for putting rubbish into landfill.

But between June and August this year, refuse collectors found black bin bags dumped beside green bins on around 8000 occasions.

In a bid to improve re-cycling rates, and in a scheme which has been welcomed by the Greens, the council now plans to target offending householders.

The first time a black bin bag or other excess waste is found it will be lifted and a sticker put on the bin telling the owner rubbish can only be put in the green general waste bin or the blue re-cycling bin.

On the second occasion, a sticker will be put on the bin saying the owner will receive a letter with information about how to re-cycle.

On the third occasion, an officer will visit the address to discuss the problem and give help and advice.

IF EXCESS rubbish is left again, the householder faces enforcement action and a fixed penalty fine of £50 for fly tipping.

A council spokesman said: "The opportunity to recycle has been well received with the amount of recycling collected from participating households up by more than a third in an average week.

"However, not all households are making use of their recycling facilities and instead are dumping bags of excess waste next to or on top of their green bin.

"The city currently has no option but to send all this waste to landfill which not only has an adverse impact on the environment but comes at a huge cost to the taxpayer."

Last year, Glasgow paid almost £13.5million in landfill tax and although re- cycling rates are increasing, a hike in the tax is likely to see that figure rise next year to almost £14.3m.

Jim Coleman, the council's executive member for sustainability, said: "Overloading your bin or dumping extra bags of waste next to it, because you don't want to recycle, just is not an option.

"Even if you have no interest in the environmental consequences, you cannot avoid the impact it has on your local community and your neighbours.

"Not only are the bags of waste unsightly, but they disrupt collections and waste taxpayers' money at a time when many of the services Glaswegians rely on are under pressure due to cuts in public spending."

The new policy will only cover homes receiving a kerbside collection not properties such as flats and tenements.

Green councillor Nina Baker said: "People need to be helped to do the right thing and we need to make it easy for them to do the right thing. Houses are probably where recycling is easiest but some people struggle with the very complicated timetable for bin collection."