While the efforts of the Communities and Local Government Secretary Eric Pickles to defend and revive weekly bin collections have been widely reported less the Government have also abolished state powers for town hall bin inspectors to enter homes and gardens to inspect bins. Powers originally intended to tackle large-scale fly-tippers were twisted under Labour to allow town halls to spy on local residents.
As a House of Commons Library note explains:
Section 180 of the Environment Act 1995 grants the Environment Agency and local authorities (and a number of other authorities) with specific powers to investigate offences under specific environmental legislation. This includes powers to investigate illegally deposited waste and ways in which household waste is disposed of.