Conservative-run Dartford Council has declined to take part with other councils in Kent in a scheme for residents to have the contents of their bins scrutinised without their knowledge.

Leader of the Council, Councillor Jeremy Kite says: "I strongly object to the analysis and examination of waste put out for collection unless specific permission is obtained from the householder and have intervened to prevent such exercises in Dartford on more than one occasion.

"I am entirely uninterested in how common-place such practices are. I do not believe it is right and we made a 2007 manifesto commitment not to do it. We aim to secure higher rates in recycling through education, common-sense policies and positive action."