SECOND wheelie bins are to be distributed to homes across Rushmoor in a bid to increase recycling in the borough.

The council needs to recycle 16 per cent of its waste by 2004 and sees the introduction of "green" bins as the best way forward.

The 240-litre bins will be collected fortnightly and replace the ineffective bag and hook system currently used in Rushmoor.

Just 6.9 per cent of the borough's suitable waste was recycled using that method last year

Regular refuse wheelie bins currently used by most households will eventually be replaced with smaller versions.

The council has also agreed, in principle, the introduction of a garden waste collection service to raise the recycling figures to 24 per cent by 2006.

Coun Roland Dibbs told a recent meeting of Rushmoor's cabinet committee: "We have a responsibility to ourselves and to our residents to recycle more. We can't continue to send recyclable waste to landfill."

However, Coun David Welch warned that bins left out on footpaths for days on end already plague the borough.

He said: "If they are going to be given a second bin something has got to be done to make sure these bins are taken back into the curtilage of their properties."

Coun David Clifford added: "A minority of residents spoil it for the majority, as is often the case. They are persistent offenders and they will not be told.

"They don't just spoil it for themselves but for their neighbours. I would like to see the introduction of a bin bylaw where we can fine people who leave their bins out on the footpath."

Rushmoor's proposals will be reported to a county-wide waste management board early next year.