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Neuchâtel politician breaks bin bag law

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Neuchâtel politician breaks bin bag law
Those who don't use official bin bags are breaking the law. Photo: Frederic Bisson
10:41 CET+01:00
A Swiss politician has been fined for using the wrong bin bags to dispose of his rubbish.

Jim Sordet, a liberal-radical (FDP) councillor in Corcelles-Cormondrèche in the canton of Neuchâtel, is against the Swiss policy of requiring all household rubbish to be placed in heavily taxed official bin bags, according to local papers L'Express/L'Impartial.

The policy, longstanding in some Swiss cantons, was introduced widely in French-speaking Switzerland in January 2012 as a way to encourage people to limit their waste and recycle as much as possible.

Neuchâtel's official rubbish bags, called SacNEVa, cost CHF20 for ten 35 litre bags or CHF34 for ten 60 litre bags.

According to the papers, quoting an official source, Sordet's contravention of the rules was discovered from waste bearing his name.

This “inappropriate behaviour” requires the initiation of “discrete surveillance”, said the source document.

Sordet, who must now pay a CHF50 fine, admitted the action.

Interviewed by the Neuchâtel dailies, he said they “were looking for stories” in publishing news of this sort.

However fellow councillor Stéphane Brammeier said every citizen “should set an example, especially if he's been elected by the people”.

Sordet's party, the FDP, said it “does not encourage its members to act in this way” reported L'Express.  

The SacNEVa website states that those who do not use the official bags are contravening the law.

“Various methods exist to catch and identify those responsible. Those caught will pay fines and could be subject to criminal procedures, while reoffending will incur further penalties,” it says.

The canton of Geneva and some French-speaking communes of Valais are among the very few areas in Switzerland which have not yet introduced taxed rubbish bags.

That's despite the existence of a federal law on the environment which places the obligation for the costs of rubbish disposal on to those who create it.

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